The exposed surfaces of furniture such as cabinets, kitchens, desks and worktops need to be able to withstand the rigours of day to day use.
Furniture surfaces that stain or mark easily, perhaps due to spills or white ring marks from drinks, will potentially lead to customer dissatisfaction, complaints and returns.
The results of the use of inadequate or inappropriate surface finishes are instantly visible. This not only has a negative aesthetic impact but can also affect the performance of the item concerned.
Mechanical damage, for example abrasion, impact, scrape and scratch resistance.
Resistance to wet and dry heat, typically over the range of 55°c - 160°c depending on service use.
Chemical resistance, for example oils, acids, bleaches, tea and coffee.
The level of performance of finishes depends upon the end use of the furniture concerned. The most severe performance criteria are designated for items such as kitchen tops, desk tops and living room tables. The minimum requirements for kitchen cabinets and horizontal surfaces tend to be lower than the above and performance criteria for vertical surfaces of items such as bookshelves and bedroom furniture are even lower.
BS 6222-3:1999. Domestic kitchen equipment. Performance requirements for durability of surface finish and adhesion of surfacing and edging materials. Specification
BS EN 438-1:2005. High-pressure decorative laminates (HPL). Sheets based on thermosetting resins (usually called laminates). Introduction and general information
Actual test requirements vary depending upon the Standards being specified.
“How a surface finish or coating performs in its designated environment is an important consideration at the point of manufacture. Testing the performance of a surface finish or coating to a set standard provides an invaluable guide to the surface durability of the product and reduces the likelihood of problems arising.”