General overview of the laminated chipboard market
Furniture production is perhaps the second most profitable after construction. But at present, the furniture production segment in Russia is quite well-occupied - a novice entrepreneur will have to make considerable efforts to enter the market.
However, many novice entrepreneurs forget that in some cases it is more profitable to engage in the production of raw materials, rather than its processing and production of finished products. This also applies to furniture production, so the production of materials for the manufacture of furniture is a more promising occupation than the production of furniture itself.
Laminated chipboard or chipboard is currently the most popular material for furniture. The reason for this is the optimal combination of price and quality. In terms of physical and mechanical properties, including moisture resistance, the laminated particleboard, of course, is somewhat inferior to wood, but the variety of textures, ease of processing and low cost are its undoubted advantages.
Indeed: some types of wood - for example, oak or beech require a long and costly processing and preparation, which significantly increases their cost, and laminated chipboard "oak" or "beech" with a similar appearance is much cheaper.
In addition, the opening of a business for the production of chipboard is accompanied by such a factor as a small number (and in some cities and even regions - a complete absence) of competitors and a vast market: after all, even if there are no large furniture factories, all products are simply sorted out by small and medium-sized enterprises having a tendency to gradual enlargement, and hence increase demand for laminated particleboard.
All of the above points make the production of chipboard one of the most promising and cost-effective compared to many others.
Description of the production technology of chipboard
As a laminating material for chipboard, special paper is used impregnated with urea-formaldehyde or melamine-formaldehyde resins.
The first option (urea-formaldehyde) is currently rarely used, as it is outdated. The second - melamine-formaldehyde technology is now considered the most progressive and promising.
The lamination process itself can be divided into 4 technological stages, or stages.
The first stage is the preparation of chipboard
You need to know that for lamination, chipboard is used that meets certain technical parameters: with a density of at least 0.65-0.7 g / cu. cm and humidity not more than 7-8%.
Such plates do not collapse and do not lose structure during further pressing. Suitable boards are sanded and after the end of this process and the removal of wood dust a specific filler is applied to their surface.
The second stage is the preparation of the laminating material
A paper-resin laminate is used for laminating particleboard. It is a special paper impregnated with synthetic resins. Moreover, such paper is somewhat different in appearance and properties.
The fact is that not one laminating layer is laid on the surface of a chipboard sheet, but at least three: the main, coating and finishing. The base paper has the greatest thickness and density: it provides the mechanical strength of the chipboard and the protection of its inner layers from moisture.
The covering layer of paper performs a decorative function - a drawing is applied to it. Finishing paper and the varnish layer covering it increases the durability of the laminated particleboard and provides reliable protection against moisture.
The third stage of the production of chipboard - assembly of "packages"
Actually, “package” is the technical name of a sheet of chipboard, coated on two sides with laminating layers of paper in a specific (main, covering and finishing layers) order. The packages “assembled” in this way are transferred by polished steel or brass cushioning sheets. This is done in order to smooth the surface of the chipboard.
The fourth stage of the production of chipboard - pressing
At this stage, the chipboard and laminating paper are pressed into a single unit - the chipboard. It occurs at a temperature of 135-145 ° C and a maximum pressure of 1.5-2 MPa, which gradually decreases by the end of the process then in order to avoid chipboard deformation.
The actual pressing process lasts about 15 minutes: a few minutes before the operation is completed, the press plates are not only slightly weakened, but also cooled with water. In some cases, to obtain a frosted (grainy) surface and at the same time reduce the time spent on one pressing cycle.
Equipment for the production of chipboard
As you might guess, the main units for the production of chipboard are an impregnation-drying machine for the manufacture of laminating paper and a press for crimping chipboard with this paper.
In addition, to prepare the chipboard for lamination, you will need a grinding, or, rather, a calibration and grinding machine. About the first two - a little lower, and relative to the last there are several important points that we will consider right now.
Chipboard grinding is the final stage of machining in the production process of chipboard itself, but it is no less important for the production of laminated chipboard - because the quality of grinding the surface also depends on how the laminate paper “lies” on it. If bumps and other technical inaccuracies are present on the surface of the chipboard blank sheet, as a result, the surface of the chipboard will acquire a non-marketable appearance.
For grinding chipboard sheets at manufacturing enterprises, grinding machines are used, when choosing which parameters such as processing width, number of grinding heads (usually 2, 4 or 6 grinding heads) and power are taken into account.
According to these parameters, there is a spread of prices - from 440 to 995 thousand rubles. Accordingly, each such machine must always have an operator, since the grinding process requires continuous monitoring and increased attention from the technologist.
But acquiring your own impregnation-drying machine can be a problem: such specific equipment is available only on special orders, and, in addition, existing manufacturers simply will not let you develop such a production.
In addition, in the manufacture of the coating layer for printing on paper, rotogravure printing machines are used, which will have to be purchased separately. Of course, ideally, you need to conclude the entire technological chain in one enterprise, but in this case it is better to do with the purchase of finished laminating paper or PVC film, which is very cheap.Regarding the press, it should be said that for this production a conventional hydraulic or other press simply will not work - you need to purchase a special "multi-story", i.e. with many pressing planes. Prices also vary depending on the technical characteristics: there are analogues for 1975-2090 thousand rubles, but a better and more productive one will cost no less than 5570 thousand rubles.
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Footage of laminated chipboard production