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Is the melamine board discoloration equivalent to the color fades of decorative paper?

Melamine faced board is a kind of panel that is clean, durable, economical, environmental-friendly and easy to be installed. Rely on the variety of colors and textures, the melamine coated board meets the individual personal demand for home decoration, but in the using process of the customized furniture, it is found that the colors of some board’s surface may become lighter or the white color turns yellow. That is the situation we called color fading called. We all know that the melamine furniture surface is embossed with decorative paper sheets. So is the melamine board discoloration equivalent to the color fades of decorative paper?

The answer is YES. The rich and colorful design effect of the melamine furniture board comes from the decorative paper pattern on the surface of the melamine laminated board. As everyone knows, all the printing products, especially the outdoor printing images are fading after it was used. Although the decorative paper for furniture board is different from other graphic prints in the base paper, ink selection, and printing craft, it is also inevitable that there will be different degrees of fading, especially in the low-quality melamine decorative board. Today let’s take a look at the reasons for the fading phenomenon, so as to know how to prevent and delay the fading of melamine panel board.

What causes the color fading of the melamine board?

1. Light fastness of printing inks is poor.

The ink itself is not light-resistant. The reason why the ink-printed products are colorful is that they can selectively absorb or reflect different colors in the light through the tiny particles of the ink pigments under various light sources like sunlight and lamplights. When the ability of fine particles in printing ink to absorb or reflect light colors decreases, the color fading issue occurs. Generally, all the printing ink may have different levels of fading and discoloration when meeting the light. The light resistance of various colors is different. Normally, light color ink fades and discolors more seriously after long-term shining. High quality melamine boards usually use high light-proof printing ink to slow the fading caused by sunshine.

2. Alkali resistance of printing ink is poor.

“Alkali” is said to be the buster of ink. Basically, all the inks will fade or change color when exposed to alkali. The chrome yellow ink turns red with alkali, and the medium blue fades when it encounters alkaline paper. Especially gold ink, silver ink, and bronzing stamping will lose their original luster when encountering alkaline substances. For example, the golden color becomes bronze yellow, the silver ink becomes dark and not bright, what’s more, the adhesion will be reduced, which often causes the printed products to be scrapped. No matter the décor paper is made by water-based printing ink or oil-based printing ink, If stays in an environment with a high alkaline concentration for a long time, it is more likely to cause surface color and pattern fading.

3. Heat resistance of printing ink is poor.

The heat resistance of printing ink is relatively low. Generally, it is about 120℃. If the printed decor paper is in the high temperature for a long time, quality problems like color fading appear. Melamine resin board must be laminated under high temperature and high press. In order to keep the aesthetics, melamine board manufacturers are required to accurately control the hot pressing temperature and hot pressing time, otherwise the board surface will fade and become a waste product.

4. PH value of base paper is Meta-alkalescency.

As chemical substances such as caustic soda, sulfide, and chlorine need to be added in the papermaking process, the paper may assume to be acidic or alkaline. Therefore, the decor paper of high quality melamine board has high requirements on the absorbency, covering property, and toughness of the base paper, and also has very strict requirements on the acidity and alkalinity of the base paper. The ideal PH value for decor paper is 7. It is a neutral status. If using the base paper that does not meet the standard of acid and alkali to print decor paper, the plate surface design will be very poor in terms of durability.

5. Printing technology for decor paper is poor.

To print decor paper, the process of ink blending, the color sequence of printing, and the drying technology have great impacts on the color of the ink. In the color mixing process, it is better to choose the high light fastness printing ink. When mixing the light color, the light fastness after the ink is diluted need to be pay attention, the light fastness consistency between several inks also need to be taken into consideration. About the arrangement of color sequence, it is better to print low fastness colors like yellow, red and then the high fastness color like cyan and black.

How to prevent and delay melamine board fading?

No matter melamine MDF board, melamine particle board, or melamine plywood board, it will fade finally, the difference is that some take 2 to 3 years, and some need 20 to 30 years. Generally, the fade time of best quality melamine board is three times longer than the low type. Except for the board quality, the using method is also important.

1. Users pay attention to do the protective measures.

When using the melamine faced furniture, the user needs to pay attention to avoid fading during use. For example, when decorating the wall, one should avoid directly attaching the melamine panel to the wall, or the moisture and alkali on the cement wall surface will cause mildew and fading. In the meantime, long-term direct sunlight or over dry indoor environment is also needed to be avoided. Especially in summer, if the rooms have large windows, it is better to use curtains to protect the wardrobe and cabinets. In addition, avoid the plate facing the outlet of the air conditioner or close to the radiator cover. When cleaning the furniture, avoid using alkaline liquid to wipe the melamine color board.

2. Manufacturers improve the quality of raw material.

Melamine board manufacturers also can use some methods to postpone the fading. For example, printing with high-quality polyamide resin ink and four-color overprinting. It not only has good gloss and wear resistance but also has a small color difference and high accuracy. What is more, It improves the anti-ultraviolet oxidation performance of the product surface, and also makes the surface of the cabinet have higher gloss retention.

All in all, to solve the fading problem of the melamine cutting board, it is ultimately to solve the discoloration of decorative paper. That is to say, we need to well control every procedure in decorative paper production. The higher the quality of decorative paper raw material, the better the color fastness of the melamine board.

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