Conventional practice in the high pressure decorative laminate industry is to use steam or thermic fluid for heating in the laminate process. Although Thermax Inc., Novi, Mich., makes equipment for both types, the company developed a system that relies on hot water to meet the industry’s needs while saving money.

Hot water systems have advantages over conventional steam or thermic fluid systems. They are versatile, use locally available fuel, are easy to use and require little training, says Thermax’s Rajesh Sinha, America’s business development head. Sinha notes several benefits that high pressure laminate companies gain with the hot water approach.
  1. Less water consumption compared to traditional steam systems. Users have reported drops in water consumption from as high as 60,000 liters per day to 5,000 liters per day, saving money and conserving natural resources.
  2. Excellent overall uniform heating due to single-phase heating, which avoids spotty results.
  3. Higher production levels because the system manages peak heat demands.
  4. Lower operating costs due to the heat recovery and closed-loop design.
  5. Lower manpower requirements because there is just one piece of equipment.
  6. Virtually scale free operation and the retention of the same heating/cooling timing values over many years.
  7. Reduced fire hazard compared to thermal oil heating because water is a non-hazardous fluid.
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