Hybond’s 3D pressing intelligent sensor as seen above in black, travels through the press providing real-time information to Hybond’s technical team

Adhesive specialist, Hybond, provides manufacturers with quality adhesive products and equipment, as well as outstanding technical support from its in-house laboratory.

The Hybond team frequently works with those carrying out 3D pressing, also known as vinyl or membrane pressing. This lamination technique is popular with those producing decorative furniture fronts within kitchen, bedroom and bathroom production. Raw MDF panels are spray-coated with adhesive, dried, and passed through a press where they are wrapped in decorative vinyl foil through exposure to temperature and pressure. The results provide many colourful and varied finishes. 

Hybond recognises that 3D pressing is a challenging process, and has invested heavily in training, equipment, and laboratory testing protocols, to become an industry leading, technically competent distributor of 3D pressing adhesives. 

Panels coated with adhesive ready for 3D pressing process

The adhesives

Hybond’s product range includes its own core brands under the popular ‘Xtra’ banner, as well as being a technical partner for major manufacturer, Henkel. “For 3D Pressing, our favoured product is Henkel’s Aquence FD 150/6,” explains Hybond technical manager, Dr. Karl Kaye. “This solvent-free adhesive offers high heat and moisture resistance. It is clean spraying, has a low activation temperature, and flows well when heated to make it particularly suitable for use with high-gloss vinyl foils, as it will not produce the undesirable ‘orange peel effect’ quality issue often encountered with alternative products. 

“Furthermore, Aquence FD 150/6 contains a pigment that fluoresces when exposed to UV light, which means that our technical team can inspect adhesive distribution on sprayed panels to aid our customers in achieving an optimum finish.”

Pressed panels ready for finishing

The audit

A popular Hybond service is its 3D Pressing Audit. Carried out at the site of manufacture, the Hybond technical team uses an intelligent panel and process analysis software to analyse critical points of the pressing process in real time as they occur within a pressing system.

The dummy panel is fitted with a series of sensors and travels through the press alongside raw panels for processing. The panel communicates live via Bluetooth with the analysis software, providing instant detailed information about the temperature and pressure the bonded panels are being subjected to.

Hybond director, Ross Dalrymple, speaks further on the process: “Operators of 3D pressing systems will be acutely aware of how important it is to achieve precise temperature levels during the pressing process in order to avoid quality issues such as bubbling, tearing, and delamination.

“Many will be familiar with the use of disposable temperature strips for ascertaining heat levels within your system, these can be tiresome to use, often giving inaccurate readings and restricting the user to limited placement points.

“The beauty of our intelligent sensor panel is that it travels through the press system taking readings throughout, for example a vertical reading can be obtained measuring the temperature of the foil directly above the panel – the temperature at this position is critical as it will dictate how well the heat transfers to bond the foil securely to the exterior panel edge. When we consider end usage of such panels in kitchen or bathroom environments, it is essential there is no entry point for moisture, therefore the information obtained during our audit process has proven to be an essential tool in ensuring optimal quality output for our customers.” 

For further information on Hybond’s products and services, contact Hybond on 01743 861800 or www.hybond.org.uk