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The LMA offers full coverage of the overlay industry.

The Laminating Materials Association (LMA) is a not-for-profit trade group that represents all types of decorative overlays in North America. In addition, tile LMA is the representative organization for all edgebanding in the United States and Canada. The products represented by the LMA are applied to a wood substrate (typically particleboard or MDF) and used in the production of furniture (household and office), store fixtures, cabinets (kitchen and bath), wall paneling, etc.

Starting with only 12 members in 1985, the LMA has grown to nearly 120 member companies in the United States, Austria, Canada, England, Saudi Arabia and Spain. Approximately 40 of these companies are suppliers of decorative overlay materials or edgebanding. These companies are known as Reporting Members within the LMA. As their name implies they report their annual production or import data to the LMA for inclusion in the association's annual statistical report.

The decorative finishing materials represented by the LMA include:

* Decorative Foils

* Heat Transfer Foils

* Low Basis Weight Papers

* Saturated Papers (a.k.a. Thermofused Melamine)

* Vinyl Films (includes membrane press vinyls)

* Edgebanding

The remaining members in the LMA, known as Nonreporting Members, supply all of the other materials required for laminating. These materials include Substrates, Adhesives and Equipment. A number of the Nonreporting Members are custom laminators who bring all the supplies together and produce some type of laminated product. A few members in the LMA produce finished goods that utilize laminated products.

The Association's Board of Directors is composed of members who represent each of the major product categories covered by the LMA Each Director serves for three years, while day-to-day operations of the LMA are taken care of by GEORGE CARTER, Executive Director. The following members comprise the LMA's Board of Directors:

* Jerry Villa (American Adhesive Coatings Co.)

* Greg Lucas (CFC International)

* Bjorn Wahl (Dynea Overlays Inc.)

* Mike DiGiuro (Flexible Materials Inc.)

* Mike Phillips (Linnemann USA)

* Mike Huth (Mead Westvaco)

* Jim Barnett (Omnova Solutions)

* Karen Koenig (Wood & Wood Products)


One of the first tasks undertaken by the LMA was the creation of a Glossary of Terms for the Laminating Industry. Realizing the need to standardize many of the terms used in the industry, the members of the LMA worked to produce useful definitions of all the overlays, edgebanding, adhesives, substrates and equipment used by laminators.

This handy, pocket-sized booklet is indispensable for sales and marketing people who need to interact with customers on a daily basis. It's also great for use around the shop when you have questions about materials.

The Glossary of Terms is available free from the LMA or you can download the complete text for the Glossary from our Web Site ( If you would like the printed version, fax your request to the LMA at 201-666-5665.

We would like to hear from you if you have any suggestions for ways to improve the Glossary. Specifically, if there are any buzz words you use to describe any of the overlays or edgebanding represented by the LMA. Please let us know your suggestions and we can incorporate them into future versions of the Glossary.


In this issue of Wood & Wood Products you will find a "Product Finder Guide" that lists each member of the LMA in its respective product categories. This handy section is based on the LMA's Source of Supply Directory, which lists the actual products each company supplies along with addresses and phone numbers. Just like the Source of Supply Directory, the "Product Finder Guide" is separated into major product groupings. However, the longer Source of Supply Directory provides an overview of the actual products offered by each LMA member. Additionally, this full-length book is available on our Web site (


The Laminating Materials Association publishes a complete book of Voluntary Product Standards, which covers all the overlays and three of the edgebanding materials represented by the LMA. In addition, the book includes our standards for "Profile Wrapped Materials" as well as our "Standard Test Measures for Laminated Products." The complete standards book costs $40. For more information, please contact the LMA.

Within each product standard, you will find references to a variety of test methods and expected results. Some of the sections within each of the Voluntary Product Standards are: Purpose, Scope, Product Requirements, and Performance Characteristics.

The "Standard Test Measures for Laminated Products" includes six different tests that a laminator can perform to help determine the future potential for panel delamination. These tests are designed to be conducted quickly and with little expense, but they do not guarantee panel performance. In other words, even if your panel passes all six tests, there is no guarantee that it won't delaminate at any time in the future. However, passing all the tests should be a good indicator of positive future performance.


The LMA was formed to provide a continuous flow of statistical marketing information on the shipments of decorative overlays. The Association collects shipment and import data from its members covering the decorative overlays it represents. Data collection for calendar year 2001 was not complete at the time this article was written so estimates have been provided.

North American shipments of decorative overlays will rise about 2% in 2001, to stand at 10.6 billion square feet (BSF).

Current estimates for 2001 indicate that the vinyl films category will rise about 1% from the 2000 level. The LMA estimates that total North American shipment volume for all vinyl films last year will be roughly 2.1 BSF. Vinyl films, made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), maybe either clear or solid color. If the film is clear, then it is printed on the reverse side, which protects the print. If the film is a solid color, the printing is on the top. Vinyl films can he used for wall paneling, case goods, stereo cabinets, and other applications. The rapid acceptance of membrane pressable vinyls, known within the LMA as "Thermoformed Overlays," have helped push up the whole category's market share.

Low basis weight papers typically range in weight from 23 to 30 grams, though they are available up to 50 grams and are sometimes pre-impregnated with resin. Acrylic, polyester and other resins can be added during the paper making process to improve the internal bond strength of the paper. The paper is then printed and generally coated with polyurethane, urea, polyester, acrylic or melamine resins, or a combination thereof. Total North American shipments of these papers should rise about 2.5% in 2001, to stand at 4.2 BSF. Low basis weight papers make up the largest segment of the decorative overlay market, accounting for more than 36% of total volume of decorative overlays shipped in 2001.

Decorative foils are cellulose papers that weigh between 40 and 140 grams per square meter untreated, although most of the commercially available papers in this category tend to range between 40 and 80 grams per square meter. These overlays may be impregnated or topcoated with melamine resins. Treating may add 20 to 40 grams of weight or more, depending on the basis weight of the paper. Decorative foils require an adhesive for lamination. Impregnation, or lack thereof, and the percentage of resin used, have a direct effect on the internal bond strength of the paper, as well as the porosity, cutting qualities and machinability. Total North American shipments of decorative foils should experience strong growth in 2001, rising almost 4%. This reverses a 14% loss in 2000, which will bring total shipment volume in the United States and Canada hack to 1.6 BSF for 2001.

Saturated papers, also known as thermofused melamine (TFM), generally weigh between 60 and 130 grams per square meter, with the majority of usage falling between 80 and 120 grams per square meter. These overlays are saturated with reactive resins, which are partially cured at the point of saturation. Final curing is done at the time of hot press lamination when the resins form a hard crosslinked thermoset material. The paper formation is similar to the decor sheet used for high pressure laminates. These products are self-bonding; that is, the resin in the paper flows into the surface of the board during lamination creating a permanent bond. Thus, no external adhesives are required. The LMA expects that shipments of saturated papers in North America will rise about 1.4% in 2001, to stand at 3.2 BSF.
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Title Annotation:Laminating Materials Association
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2002
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