FROM FORMICA TO FENIX: THE HIGH-TECH EVOLUTION OF “LAMINATE POP”
It was more or less around 1950 when in the USA the idea and spaces of the kitchen were profoundly transformed with the inclusion not only of appliances but also of new construction materials produced using industrial techniques. Instead of wood, kitchen elements began to be made of “formica“: the term – coinciding with the name of the historic manufacturing company Formica Corporation, founded in 1913 by Herbert A. and Daniel J. – indicates a plastic laminate made of “Formica”, a material that was used to make the kitchen.
Indicates a plastic laminate made of pressed paper and impregnated with formaldehyde (phenolic resins).
Formica – a hard-wearing surface that has been used for furniture and worktops – thus drives the kitchen towards a concept that enhances the comfort and operability of this environment, adding for the first time an aesthetic note that we could now call POP.
The colour of the Formica doors, proposed in wide pastel and bright palettes, floods an environment previously dominated by the essences and warm tones of wood and stone of the sinks. The atmosphere becomes playful and lively, but above all it gains in practicality: Formica is easily washable, does not absorb liquids and substances and has a degree of resistance and a longevity index that is clearly superior to natural materials. An idea of furnishing that would be defined as the “American kitchen” was born.
Since then, many laminate manufacturers have been involved in this process of industrialisation of the supply chain, and the initial impregnation treatment of laminates with formaldehyde – recognised over time to be harmful to health – has been replaced by treatment with melamine resins.
Practicality, colour and resistance are concepts that modern and contemporary design has developed more and more over the years, and today one of the trendy materials that takes the initial functions and intuitions of Formica to very high levels of performance and presence is Fenix.
Composed with the use of nanotechnology, this laminate was developed and is still produced by the Italian company Arpa Industriale: it can be defined as a paper multilayer impregnated internally with thermosetting resins and processed with nanoparticles, then treated externally with acrylic resins that are hardened and polymerised through an innovative electron beam process.
Fenix laminate is:
- An extremely durable material with an elegant matt finish and even a soft-touch effect. An element that fits into the international design scene by combining hi-tech and glamour.
- Water-repellent, mould-resistant
- Suitable for food contact
- Easy to clean and resistant to the solvents and reagents typically used for domestic cleaning.
- Suitable for both horizontal and vertical surfaces, especially since the surface of Fenix laminates is constructed from a dense grid of lattices that can be regenerated by virtue of processing with nanotechnology. This means that superficial micro-scratches can be repaired by gently treating the affected area with a magic sponge or even by placing an iron on a sheet of kitchen paper for 10 seconds, then rinsing and drying with a microfibre cloth.
All these features have made Fenix the star of contemporary design, but it is its ultra-matt, soft-touch, almost velvety finish that has won the hearts of designers, customers and Vama.
All you need now is our kitchen to enjoy its refined beauty and advanced practicality every day.