Frequently Asked Questions
…about Tafisa's decorative, thermofused melamine (TFM) panels
|Q: What's "green" about Tafisa's TFM panels?
A: Just about everything! The panel core is 100% recovered and recycled wood residues - no trees are cut - that would otherwise re-enter our environment as waste. The wood in our panels is also a carbon sink, preventing absorbed CO2 from being rereleased into our atmosphere. But perhaps most importantly, our beautiful woodgrain surfaces are high-definition paper prints that are produced with the use of water-based inks.
When you specify TafiLam or TafiLam-Eco, you get a durable, decorative panel and you've saved a tree from the lumber or veneer mill.
Q: Isn't "melamine" a more fragile material, only durable enough for cabinet interiors and shelves?
A: What many people call "melamine" is not a TFM (thermofused melamine) panel. Lightweight decorative papers may be treated with melamine resin, but they are not thermally fused to a panel - they are glued. These products are intended for much lighter-duty use than TFM.
Q: TFM panels are made with melamine. So what is melamine?
A: Melamine is a plastic resin known for its resistance to water, detergents and heat. Remember those indestructible beige or pale green plates you ate off of in school? They're made from melamine resins.
To produce TFM (and HPL), decorative surface papers are saturated with melamine to give them the scratch-, wear-, moisture- and stain-resistance. They are then bonded to a substrate - a panel, in the case of TFM, or layers of kraft paper, in the case of HPL.
Q: Don't all laminates have that "plasticky" feel?
A: Not any more. While the stipple or crystal finish you're familiar with has been the durability standard-bearer for years, advances in wear resistance now allow for silkier, smoother finishes that don't sacrifice toughness. And textured press plates can impart woodgrain tics and gloss variations, creating a realistic wood surface.
Tafisa’s most realistic textures are Smoothwood (S) and Urbania (R).
Q: Can I use Tafisa's TFM for work surfaces?
A: Yes, you can use it on desktops, tabletops, conference tables, etc. But it's not recommended for areas where there will be excessive wear and tear such as kitchen countertops.
Q: How does TFM compare to HPL?
A: The decorative layer is very similar - a solid color or printed sheet of melamine-impregnated paper. In HPL, that sheet is bonded to several other layers of thicker "kraft" paper to create a sheet that then needs to be glued to a panel. In TFM, the chemistry in the decorative allows it to be bonded directly to the panel under heat pressure - no extra gluing step is necessary.
Q: Can I use TFM for health care furniture and interiors?
A: Absolutely. TFM's surface is naturally antibacterial, and can handle the rigorous cleaning done in hospitals and clinics.
Q: How hard is it to find products that match or complement Tafisa's TFM?
A: Not at all. Tafisa shares designs with suppliers of edgebanding, HPL, 3-D laminates, and door manufacturers.