Waterproof Edgebanding

Water Resistant Cabinets

Stanley Walter Cabinet Materials, Custom Cabinets

    PUR, or polyurethane reactive glues are a fascinating type of highly water resistant edgebanding glue options that have been popular in Europe for many years and have recently started to become more popular in Canada as a more common water resistant edgebanding option for cabinet building.  PUR glue is highly durable and has high levels of water resistance compared to standard EVA glue that most cabinet shops use.  Cabinets edgebanded with PUR glue offer many different benefits for customers looking for cabinets to put in specific environments such as schools, hospitals or many other commercial areas. Also, because of the high moisture environment of most washrooms, PUR edgebanded cabinets would be a superior option to use in vanity or ensuites or any high humidity environment where water resistant is required for the durability of the cabinets

    In the picture above it shows the difference in temperature and water resistance that PUR glue & EVA glue have.

    While PUR has been a popular option through the years for laminate panel manufacturers as a superior option for laying up HPL, or high pressure laminate onto particle panels, it has also become very popular in the European edgebanding market as an option to edgeband panels with a glue that is highly water resistant and extremely durable.  The other massive benefit with using PUR edgebanding glue is that it leaves a practically invisible glue line. In fact if compared to the edgebanding joint of a laser edgebanded door, considered for many years the gold standard for zero joint edgebanding, it is almost impossible to see the difference. Laser activated edgebanding is not water resistant in any sense and not as durable as a panel edgebanded with PUR.

    In the picture above it shows how water or humidity can get into the joint between the edgebanding and the panel and creating swelling and other damage.  PUR glue prohibits this from happening.

    Manufacturers of PUR edgebanding glues describe their product this way

    • Enables invisible glue line
    • Closer tighter joint than with EVA glue
    • High level of thermal resistance (-30ºC to 150ºC)
    • Very high level of resistance to moisture, water and vapor
    • Bond creates chemical crosslinking when in contact with humidity
    • Unrivaled joint strength

    Most cabinet manufacturers are still using EVA glue for their edgebanding applications.  While many advancements have been made in the last few years with unfilled EVA products, the joint strength and water resistance is not comparable to PUR products.  EVA edgebanded panels also show a distinct glue joint line whereas PUR edgebanded panels are considered to have a zero joint line.

    In the picture above you can see the difference between a panel that is considered to have a zero joint glue line, and one where the glue line is visible.

    The chemical crosslinking that happens when PUR products are in contact with humidity actual serves to strengthen the joint.  To demonstrate this high level of water resistance, many PUR manufacturers will place edgebanded panels into water tanks at trade shows to demonstrate how the PUR glue interacts with the water.  If the panel has been properly edgebanded, it can remain in a full tank of water indefinitely without any kind of water damage or swelling. This provides a massive benefit in the cabinet market as for many years the downside of using melamine panels for exterior & interior cabinet applications has been the low levels of water resistance.

    PUR edgebanded panels take around 24-72 hours to cure completely depending on the environment, and often times after the curing process has taken place it is impossible to tear off the edgebanding without seriously damaging the panel.  This is compared to EVA edgebanded panels where it is possible to remove the edgebanding without any kind of significant damage to the panel.

    Shown in the picture above is a great example of the edgebanding quality that can be expected by using PUR technology.

    Netley Millwork has recently added new equipment that allows us to take advantage of these exciting new developments and provide our customers with superior water resistant edgebanded cabinets.  Contact our sales team today if you are interested in learning more.

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