With many reconsidering the design of their home following the pandemic, there is increased interest in hygienic solutions that not only provide a tidy, long-lasting finish, but also protect the wellbeing of the household. In this article, Jonathan Heginbottom, national sales manager OEM for Rehau Furniture Solutions division, discusses what zero-joint edgebanding is and why it is the future of furniture design …

When selecting edgebanding adhesion, there are many options available, from EVA glue and PUR glue, through to pre-coated glue layer edgebanding and zero-joint edgebanding. While more than 80% of the market uses EVA glue, which is easily available and cost-effective, zero-joint edgebanding is quickly becoming a popular alternative to glue adhesives – largely thanks to it being a more hygienic solution.

Zero-joint edgebanding employs a pre-applied, co-extruded polymer, functional layer, that adheres to the board without glue. Activated by a laser, hot air or NIR edgebander, the functional layer melts and fuses the edgeband to the board. Unlike glue adhesive methods, zero-joint applications only require bringing two items together – the edgeband and the board. Despite its simplicity, zero-joint edgebanding is an advanced adhesion technology that offers several key benefits. 

Seamless appearance

Maintaining a seamless appearance, zero-joint edgebanding allows the board and the edgeband to appear as one solid surface, which adds to the polished look of carefully styled rooms within the home. This creates a tidier look than the visible glue lines in many other adhesion methods, such as EVA glue, PUR glue and pre-coated glue layers. 

Over time, glue joints collect dirt or begin to yellow, and as glue lines physically shrink and swell, a gap is created where dirt and bacteria can grow. Combined with yellowing caused by UV rays or cleaning solutions, the visual appeal of edgeband applied with glue dramatically decreases with continued wear. As a result of this, there is high demand for the seamless joint and high-performance seal of zero-joint edgebanding, which offers a more flawless, clean appearance of total integration. 

Additionally, for those with a colour theme to stick to, when choosing glue as an edgeband adhesive, colour options are limited in matching the functional layer to the substrate. EVA or PUR glues are available in up to five colours, which at best can only complement the surface colour. In contrast, zero-joint edgebanding is produced in hundreds of colours to ensure it provides a perfect match to the surrounding surfaces. 

Mind the gap

As kitchens and bathrooms are most likely to have furniture solutions requiring edgebanding, it is essential to consider how glue interacts with harsher conditions involving heat and steam. The removal of glue in edgebanding application eliminates this liability of delamination issues, as it is available with a decorative layer in ABS or polypropylene, while the functional layer is made of polypropylene, which melts and infiltrates the board. These features create a heat- and moisture-resistant surface, ideal for rooms with changing temperatures and air moisture. 

Tuned in to the environment

The importance of investing in materials which will not harm the environment is more important than ever. Zero-joint edgebanding complies with non-hazardous specification requirements, which are becoming increasingly popular in commercial applications, as well as widely desirable even in the home.

To ensure compliance with these vital specifications, Rehau Raukantex pro is a chloride-free product that uses ABS and polypropylene as its primary chemistries. This chloride-free technology is ideal for projects where a tighter seal and long-lasting quality are necessary. It is also 99% naturally recyclable and chloride-free, as well as lightweight and highly heat resistant, making it an ideal solution. 

First-rate finish

Zero-joint edgebanding provides the opportunity to create a truly seamless, premium finish with no glue line. As well as offering a more hygienic, easily cleanable product, it is possible to create stunning furniture and interiors that suit any application and style, from solid colours and decorative designs through to glass effect, metal effect, translucent and 3D looks. 

Whether you would like to offer a truly premium product, or tap into the demand for hygienic solutions in the home, zero-joint edgebanding can provide a first-rate finish that elevates the appeal of any design.