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Bonlex FAQ’s

Q1: What is bonlex?

Bonlex is a PVC 3D laminate that is formed to MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) to make Kitchen Cabinet Doors, Interior Doors, Store Fixtures, Office Desk-tops, Displays or any end-product that utilized MDF or similiar product.

Q2: What do I need to use bonlex?

A membrane/vacuum press, profile wrapper, or flat laminator. If you don’t have machine we can introduce you to a company who does.

Q3: How do I set up an account?

Click here to send us your company’s reference list via email. Your account can normally be set up within 24 hours.

Q4: I can see that you stock 45+ patterns but what if I’m looking for something different?

Exceptional, custom color-matching can be provided with a minimum order of only 2000LM!

Q5: What makes bonlex different?

Bonlex is an elite 3D laminate that uses only the best resins, ingredients and modifiers. Unlike almost all thermofoils in the market we use Zero % plasticizers! Instead of using plasticizers we have a patented modifier that sets bonlex apart from the rest! This gives bonlex formability without the negative points that can come with using plasticizers.

Q6: What are plasticizers?

Plasticizers are a relatively inexpensive ingredient that give thermofoil its flexibility.

Q7: Why don’t we use plasticizers?

Ever hear of a thermofoil turning yellow after the door has been in a kitchen for a month or year? Plasticizers are one of the factors that can contribute to this. This does not mean that all thermofoils that contain plasticizers will yellow but we have patented modifiers that enable our thermofoil to stretch and set without them. Is that the only reason that we don’t use plasticzers? No. Ever wonder why MDF board uses thick melamine on one side? Aside from giving the board structure and from creating a sealed product, the melamine is also used to keep the board from warping. All PVC films have some degree of memory but plasticizers can add to this and make the thermofoil want to return to its original state. This can cause the larger Kitchen Doors and Desk-tops to warp after some time.

Q8: Why is bonlex so popular for horizontal applications?

The first reason is due to bonlex TC (tough-coat). Bonlex TC is designed to withstand the office and store fixture environment by deflecting scratches. Out TC coat provides protection against stains and harmful UV rays that can cause the film to discolor. In addition to the TC coat we now have a ET (Extra-tough) coat that provides even more protecton. Aside from special coatings, as mentioned above, bonlex is less likely to warp large desk-tops.

Q9: I know that bonlex is very popular for horizontal applications but I’m looking for something even more durable.

The most durable bonlex thermofoil is the ET coat as far as scratch resistance but if you are looking for increased impact resistance you may have a specially formulated thermofoil designed around the environment that the material will be in. We can increase the thickness to increase the impact resistance, change the top coat to increase stain resistance,etc. No material is perfect for every situation so why not design a thermofoil that best suits you or your client’s needs?

Q10: Is bonlex easier to press than other 3D laminates?

Yes and no. When you first press our 3D laminates and compare it to others the answer can in rare cases appear to be “no” but read further. Some thermofoils can press with a larger window of parameters but there can be one problem…..Having a large parameter window is nice when you are testing a roll of material, but what happens after a month or year when this window changes? Some thermofoils can be unstable and the acceptable parameters can change With the variables of heat, time, pressure and spacing (htps) why add the additional variable of elasticity? Like glue and board, we maintain that thermofoil should be a consistent variable and that the only thing adjusted should be the press. Note: Presses come with the ability to adjust “htp” and the spacing is how you adjust your parts to be pressed, the stages that the product is set on and the spacers (jigs).

Q11: What are some things that I should look for when adjusting my press?

Every press performs differently and there are many variables that come into play. The first thing you should do is start with quality MDF and glue that is familiar with the thermofoil that you will be using. You should have a dust free environment that is away from routers. As for adjusting your press, the best references are the glue and thermofoil suppliers from which you are using. But remember to always keep track on paper what parameters you have set for EACH press cycle and to keep all variables contstant while you adjust only one variable up and down the scale. You should fax your parameters to 919-460-0258 when you need assistance. This will speed up the process considerably.

Q12: Are there any bonlex thermofoils that are difficult to press?

The most difficult thermofoil to press is High Gloss. We are one of only a couple of suppliers who have the ability to produce High Gloss Thermofoil. We are by far the largest supplier of High Gloss in the North American market. The trick to pressing bonlex High Gloss is to start out around 100~105 degrees celcius with a 30 second cycle and 60 second pre-heat. By playing with these 3 variables you should be able to get rid of any wrinkling. If pits appear it is due to dust in 99% of occasions. This can be solved by enclosing the room and/or setting up fans in strategic locations to blow away the dust from your press.

Q13: Why do bonlex woodgrains and prints look so much better?

We use actual printers to print on an inner layer of the PVC. Our prints use state of the art equipment that is digitally enhanced. We use blending to decrease the obvious appearance of the cylinder lines. But the main reason our prints look so much better is that we use more colors. While some films may use only a few colors to create the desired look we use as much as 10 plus colors. Look on the side of our film and you will see our color key that shows how many colors were used to make that print.

Q14: How does bonlex compare in price?

Out of stock bonlex, can be considered to be on the mid to upper side in terms of cost. If you calculate what it costs to use an inferior product it is easy to justify a quality thermofoil. Simply calculate the cost of board, glue, labor and time you cannot afford not to use a quality thermofoil. “Thermofoil can be a small fraction of the final cost but it is the first thing your customer will look at before they make the decision to buy your product.”

Q15: Is bonlex the only quality 3D laminate in the market?

No. There are one or two other thermofoils that we consider to be quality made and even recommend them when we cannot be of assistance. Our Sales Reps are trained to act more as a consultant that will be your partner in the business of spreading thermofoil products to the masses.

Q16: What is the bonlex motto?

Our goal is to:
“Start with the best ingredients, Deliver excellent product and Follow-up with outstanding service.”

If you have any suggestions that we can follow please let us know. We will do our best to “MAKE IT HAPPEN”.

This FAQ sheet has been put together to answer your frequently asked questions. Please note that the word “can” is used often so that there are no generalizations about other materials or situations. Our goal is to address these questions as truthful as possible while pointing out what makes bonlex different, if you feel that we are mistaken please email us your comment and we will research the matter and re-word the statements as needed.


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Suite 470
Durham, NC 27703

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