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axlmayhem 10-17-2008 09:00 PM

Kitchen counter question
Hi all. First time poster here. I have a question about kitchen counters. What type of damage would have to occur to countertops for the laminate to actually disintergrate?

AtlanticWBConst. 10-17-2008 09:08 PM

Weird question....why do you ask?

Termite 10-17-2008 09:33 PM

Yeah, wierd question. You trying to sabotage somebody's countertop?

Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything that would cause the laminate itself to disentegrate. That's why it is such a good countertop material.

Nestor_Kelebay 10-17-2008 11:47 PM

I'd go to Formica's web site and get their 1-800 phone number for their head office. Phone them up and ask to speak to someone in their technical support group if they have one. They would know what solvents, if any, would dissolve plastic laminate.

I googled Formica to see what it was made of:
and found this:
"It is composed of many layers of resin-impregnated kraft paper and topped with a decorative layer protected by melamine, then compressed and cured with heat to make a hard, durable surface."

Which tells us that the protective surface of the stuff is melamine plastic.

Googling "dissolves melamine" came up empty, but Googling "reacts with melamine" produced a bunch of hits, including:

"Formaldehyde reacts with melamine to produce resin."

"In our process, the sulfuric acid reacts with melamine to precipitate (C 3 H 6 N 6 ) 2 H 2 SO 4 2H 2 O."

"Polyvinyl butyral has the ability to thermoset into a hard durable film and also reacts with melamine resin."

"HMF reacts with melamine to form a partially. polymerized resin of low viscosity."

"As a consequence, it may be assumed that the unsaturated polyenes formed when PCA dehydrochlorinates reacts with melamine and/or with its condensed forms..."


Me thinks that the most likely candidate is sulfuric acid. Maybe formaldehyde.

Perhaps someone put a leaking car battery on your counter top. The acid in lead-acid car batteries is sulfuric acid.

Maybe liberate some of those small laminate sample chips from any hardware store and apply battery acid to it with a Q-tip to see if you can reproduce the results. Any auto electric shop will have battery acid.

I don't know where you can get formaldehyde, but Googling formaledhyde says that formaldehyde-based fluids are used for embalming human corpses, and formaldehyde is used in aquariums to kill certain fish parasites. Try your local pharmacy, too, as the pharmacist would likely know where to get it.

axlmayhem 10-18-2008 12:35 AM

Thanks for the responses!! No, I am not planning on sabotaging anyone. LOL

The reason I asked this question is because we signed a lease for a place sight-unseen (stupid, I know, but we had reasons for doing so). The landlord's ad showed granite counters, but, as he disclosed, the unit we would be getting did not have granite, that was supposed to be the only difference. However, he neglected to inform us of the fact that they were actually falling apart. Additionally, the reason I ask is because I suspect water damage to be the primary culprit because mold was growing rampant throughout the place (it was a real gem).

Now that I read Nestor's reply, I believe it was the melamine that had corroded exposing the resin-impregnated paper. However, from what I gather, the previous tenant was a college kid. It would seem odd that he would be using the listed chemicals unless he had a meth lab or something.

I do appreciate the help!

fbennett1125 10-20-2008 09:32 AM

lol meth lab popped right into my head when you said college student too, anywho good luck .

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