HPL (the letters stand for High Pressure Laminate) is a type of plastic sheet that is frequently used in the construction industry. These panels were developed for exterior applications such as wall cladding but nowadays they are also widely used inside as well. Thanks to its many unique features, HPL is one of the most popular plastic sheets. Here, we take a closer look at the properties of HPL.
Strength and durability
HPL sheets are manufactured from compressed wood fibres. The panel is compressed under high pressure and at a high temperature, forming a very strong, dense core. A very strong top layer of phenolic resin is then added. This resistant top layer combines with the dense core to create a very sturdy, durable sheet the is ideal for exterior applications.
Very low maintenance
HPL sheets are very low maintenance. Their dense, smooth surface means that dirt is not retained and they are easy to clean. Under normal circumstances, a wipe with a damp cloth about once a year is usually enough. Thanks to this quality, HPL is widely used in locations where hygiene is essential, such as the food industry, laboratories and hospitals.
HPL panels are available in a wide range of types and sizes so that this material is suitable for many different applications. Trespa®, one of the most well-known manufacturers of HPL, has created various product lines for specific purposes. For example, Trespa® Athlon® is ideal for interior use, Trespa® Meteon® has been created especially for wall cladding and the very easy to clean Trespa® Virtuon® is frequently used in environments where hygiene is important. HPL comes in a wide range of colours and different structures. HPL panels are available in colours such as black, white, dark green, grey, cream and anthracite, making them a very attractive option for interiors.
One reason that HPL sheets are so widely used as wall cladding is that they are very weather resistant. The hardness of the top layer makes it virtually impermeable to rain and HPL is also UV-resistant, so the panels don’t become discoloured by the sun. Because of their strength and the hard top layer, they can stand up to almost anything the weather can throw at them
Challenging to work with
As we mentioned above, HPL sheets are very hard and while this offers many advantages, it also has a small drawback. These sheets are not particularly easy to work with. In terms of processing options, HPL is comparable to hardwood so careful preparation and the right tools are essential. Tools for machining hardwood are recommended when machining HPL. It’s quick and easy to order HPL sheets for your project at the Plasticsheetshop.co.uk online shop. Please contact us if you need any more information regarding HPL or any of other plastic sheets, we’re always happy to help!