What is Melamine? | Is Melamine Dinnerware Safe?
Melamine comes mainly from urea and is formed in two general fashions: catalyzed gas-phase production or high pressure liquid-phase production. The chemical process melamine undergoes is called a polymerization reaction. It is because of this reaction that melamine forms a molecular lattice capable of withstanding heat, fire and harsh solvents. This combination forms the melamine fibers used in most kitchen utensils and dinnerware. Melamine is an extremely versatile material capable of many applications. Some basic features of the melamine fibers are:
- Melamine has a high resistance to heat and a very low thermal conductivity level. This gives melamine the advantage in the unstable and often excessively hot kitchen.
- Melamine is easy to work with and can be used with most textile equipment during production. The fibers are white when created and are easily dyeable. This in turn gives melamine products the option of being almost any color.
- Melamine is used in many applications including: heat resistant gloves, air craft seating, fire blockers and retardants, insulated liners, and many other forms of heat resistant textiles and apparel.
- Because of its low overhead in production, melamine products are relatively inexpensive.
- Melamine is durable and dishwasher safe.
- Melamine is used widely as a material in commercial construction applications including: low and high pressure laminates, wall paneling, fixtures, furniture and product displays.