Introduction

Many buyers of imported engineered flooring encounter delamination issues. These issues can be divided into two types: large-scale delamination and accidental delamination affecting one or two pieces. With large-scale delamination issues, losses can be considerable because solving complaints of this type typically require entire floors to be removed and re-installed. The loss would usually cost house owners their moving expenses, the cost of renting a house or hotel, plus the price of removing and replacing the faulty flooring and finally reinstalling it. The amounts of money in these types of claims can be staggering. The manufacturers are generally, uncooperative and even choose to go into hiding.

Conversely, problems involving one or two pieces of delamination are relatively easy to solve. You only need to send a handyman round to replace the affected pieces. The main cost is labor, and the manufacturer can bear this loss.

Probable Causes

The delamination of engineered flooring is also divided into two types:  1. Lamella and plywood delamination, and 2. Delamination of plywood alone. The second situation is easier for the manufacturer to control by conducting regular random inspections of each batch of plywood purchased. This can completely prevent any occurrence of the second delamination situation.

Let’s focus on the reason for the first delamination situation – delamination between Lamella and plywood. The important point here is delamination under the cold pressing process.

• The problem lies in the cold press adhesives: Adhesives are generally composed of the main component and a hardener. The modulation process must strictly follow the instructions in the manual. At the same time, the amount of adhesive prepared must be used up on the same day and not be kept overnight. If it is kept overnight, the adhesive must be disposed of without being used. Our factory uses Franklin Adhesives from the United States. For specific adhesives questions, please visit www.franklininternational.com

• Open time: All adhesives have an open time—the length of time the adhesive takes to harden. Applying the adhesive to the plywood and the pressing process must be completed within the open time specified in the adhesive instructions, and with the temperature change, the open time will vary. For example, in winter open time is slightly longer, while in summer, the reverse is true. This puts high demands on the level of process control in the factory.

• The pressure of the cold press is not enough: The pressure of the cold press plays a vital role in the pressing process. The minimum pressure required by the JAS standard is 12kg/cm2. Without sufficient pressure, the adhesives cannot bond at maximum strength.  Check out the video on youtube  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odeZGUGqtW0&t=12s

• The volume of adhesive is insufficient or the adhesive is not covering the plywood completely

JAS standards stipulate that the adhesive volume for cold pressure is 200-220g/m2, and must be uniform. A satisfactory gluing effect can only be achieved in this way.

• The glued side of the plywood is not flat enough: The plywood we purchased cannot be directly used for cold pressing. The glued side must be sanded first to ensure that the thickness is consistent at any point on a piece of plywood. Any point of inconsistent thickness is very easy to miss or coat incompletely with adhesive, so this point would be highly prone to delamination.

• Lamella’s glued side is not flat enough: Lamella faces the same situation as plywood. Here too, we need to sand the glued side so that the point where there is no sanding will be obvious. If we find this point, this piece of lamella cannot be used anymore. Delamination is also a risk if used forcibly.

• The glued side of the Lamella must not be too smooth: If the glued side of the Lamella is too smooth, it is difficult for the adhesive to get an effective grip on the side.  So we only use 80-120 sandpaper on the glued side of the lamella.

Conclusion

I can say that our factory’s products have never been involved in a large-scale delamination situation because the factory where this happened has already closed down. We have occasionally had delamination situations. However, when such complaints occur, we actively cooperate to deal with them. We cover the customer’s losses and cooperate with the buyer to deal with the bulk of the claims, to restore the reputation of the buyer and our business. At the same time, we check the production records to find the reason so situations like this never happen again. Our factory has over the years experienced the situation as described above a few times only. New situations may arise. Respectable readers, you are welcome to tell me about your discovery.

Author—John Ge Mobile: +86 13817612767 Wechat: John_Ge_Golink Email: john@guolianflooring.com

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