What is Melamine … and how is it used?

Melamine, a white crystalline powder composed of nitrogen, carbon and hydrogen. The compound -(C3N6H6) – was first synthesized by a German scientist in the 1830s, and commercial applications for melamine began to develop in the 1930s. Today, melamine is produced from natural gas, carbon dioxide, and urea in efficient, environmentally benign production plants, and is used worldwide in applications and products demanding its unique combination of physical qualities – including strength; color retention; moisture, stain and flame resistance; surface consistency and hardness; sound absorption; and transparency.

Melamine boasts three chemically unique characteristics:

1) stability – makes it resistant to chemical, thermal and physical breakdown

2) structure –enables it to be combined with other chemicals and compounds to manufacture moldable, durable and safe products

3) 66% nitrogen – provides desirable fire- and flame-retardant properties.

Melamine is ideal for use in high-performance products like wood-based panels, laminates , coatings, molding powders and flame-retardants. It is used in impregnating adhesive resins in the wood-processing industry. It can be combined with softwood from rapidly growing trees or waste wood to produce high-quality panels that can replace hardwood. It can be made into a foam product that can easily clean a wide variety of surfaces and substances. Melamine foam is marketed under a variety of commercial names including Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser®, a popular cleaning tool.

Melamine also plays a role in a wide range of flame resistant materials, including; upholstery textiles, intumescent paints, fabrics used in uniforms worn by firefighters and industrial workers, and a wide variety of residential, commercial, and industrial fire block materials.

For technical information regarding melamine, click here.