Compact Laminate, also known as solid phenolic, is a paper fiber-based solid surface material that is warmer to the touch than typical acrylic or polyester materials.
Definition: Compact laminate is essentially very thick HPL, up to and exceeding half-an-inch. Extra layers of phenolic resin-saturated kraft paper in the core gives it its thickness and strength, as well as its characteristic black or brown color. Some hpl manufacturers offer a wider variety of core colors.
It can carry a decorative and wear layer like HPL, although some designers prefer the “organic look” of the natural kraft paper surface. Compact laminate edges can be machined to a smoothness exceeding that of solid surface material.
Applications: High Pressure Compact Laminate is self-supporting and very strong, and has long been used as lab tabletops, bathroom stall dividers and for bullet-proof panels. Some office systems companies have created the unique desk, conference and task table designs with these strong, thin panels. It has also been widely specified as exterior cladding for commercial buildings across Europe and is often used as toilet partitions.
One of the most familiar and widely used decorative surfaces, High Pressure Laminate Board, was originally made famous by the Formica Corporation.