What is a PRL Panel

April 2, 2020


Laminate Works

Creating PRL panels for your unique needs
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The term PRL Panel stands for (Polyurethane Reactive Laminate) Panel and refers to a finished panel where thin sheet materials are bonded to both sides of a substrate using PUR adhesive. PRL Panels can be created using a nearly unlimited variety of materials, including those that are difficult to bond or require a high-fidelity appearance with no telegraphing to the finished surface. PRL Panels can be processed into finished goods such as commercial and residential furniture, stage decking, flooring, wall coverings, casework, cabinet doors, store fixtures and elevator panels.

Common sheet materials used in a PRL Panels include paper-based products like High Pressure Laminate (HPL). However, because PUR adhesive uses a chemical reaction, and not water evaporation, to activate its adhesion, a PRL Panel can be used with non-porous materials like acrylic, plastics, HDPE, FRP, PET, linoleum, foams, felts, stone veneers and even metals.

Similar to the sheet material, PRL Panels can use either wood based or non-porous substrates. Common wood-based products include Industrial Particle Board (IPB), Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) and Plywood. Non-porous substrate options include foams, plastics and composites. There are also light weight options such as Honeycombs, lightweight MDF and AIRPLY™ Ultra Light Core. The bond with wood-based substrates is far superior to a PVA or EVA laminated panel because there is no water used in PUR glue. Water-based glues can weaken the surface of the substrate during the curing process as water soaks into it, thereby decreasing the overall integrity of the panel. PUR glue draws moisture from the substrate during its reactive chemical process, keeping the surface integrity in-tact, and creating a nearly unbreakable bond.

Another key property of a PRL Panel is that the layer of glue used to bond the sheet materials to the substrate virtually eliminates telegraphing on the face of the finished panel. The glue's thin and flat application acts as a filler for the face of the substrate and evens out imperfections after passing through the high-pressure pinch rollers during the bonding process. This is different than a water-based glue which is applied in ridges, creating imperfections between the layers, even after being pressed. This telegraphing that can then be seen on the finished surface. Because of this, PRL Panels are an excellent solution for thin, dark and glossy materials where telegraphing is more apparent and visual appearance is critical.

PRL Panels can be manufactured in a wide range of dimensions and thickness similar to EVA and PVA panels. The finished sizes are dependent on the capabilities of the PUR line they're bonded on. Current market options range from 49” to 61” wide by 97” to 145” long and from 1/8” to 3” thick.

One option to consider is the REACT PRL Panel from Laminate Works. They are manufactured on a 150’ long, fully automated PUR Lamination line with over one million surface and substrate combination options in thicknesses from 1/8" to 3" and 3' x 8' to 5' x 12'.  These panels are cleaned and bonded on both sides in a single pass inside a dust-free clean room. This ensures no debris is trapped between its layers for a flawless face and nearly unbreakable bond. After the bonding process, all REACT PRL Panels are trimmed, cleaned and stacked before they exit the lamination line making them ready for processing.

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