Melamine is a common chemical used in various industries and is generally used on its own or bound to other compounds. It is a common by-product in the coal industry and is used to manufacture bowls, plates, industrial coatings, plastic products, and paper products. This post will focus on the difference between melamine, melamine formaldehyde, and melamine formaldehyde sulfonate.

What is Melamine?

Melamine is a crystalline substance with a ring structure, populated by nitrogen atoms and 3 amine groups. Due to its high concentration of nitrogen, its derivatives have fire retardant properties as nitrogen gas is released when burned or charred.

Melamine on its own is used as insulation, soundproofing, a common yellow pigment as well as in polymeric cleaning products, such as the Magic eraser. It is more commonly mixed with other compounds: formaldehyde to make resins and polysulfonate: to make a concrete superplasticizer. Its derivatives are used as an arsenical drug and have been illegally added to food and baby formula to increase apparent protein levels.

Melamine can be produced from urea, hydrogen, dicyandiamide, and cyanide, however its production from urea is the easiest and most cost-effective. The urea is first broken down to cyanuric acid, which then reacts under heat. The essential melamine reaction is when it reacts with formaldehyde to form melamine-formaldehyde resins with a higher molecular weight.

Melamine Formaldehyde

Melamine Formaldehyde (MF) is formed from the reaction between melamine and formaldehyde under heat. MF is a thermosetting aminoplast that’s durable, hard and possesses good fire retardancy and heat-resistance.

Melamine Formaldehyde can be cured through heating where crosslinking and dehydration occur. Melamine formaldehyde is commonly used to manufacture high-pressure laminates. There are applications where Melamine Formaldehyde resins are used as whiteboards, plates, and kitchen utensils. It also helps saturate decorative paper laminated under pressure and heat, where it can easily be pasted on particle boards.

Sulfonated Melamine Formaldehyde (SMF)

Sulfonated Melamine Formaldehyde is a plasticiser used as an alternative to Polycarboxylate superplasticiser and Sulphonated Naphthalene Formaldehyde. It is a polymer used as water reducing admixture. It is commonly used in plaster formulations and cement to reduce water content, thus enhancing workability and increasing fluidity.

In concrete, introducing Sulfonated Melamine Formaldehyde lowers porosity and increases mechanical strength and resistance to harsh conditions. It is also used in grout for base equipment casting and self-levelling flooring materials.

Order Quality Melamine Powder and Sulfonated Melamine Formaldehyde

At Bisley & Company, we supply melamine powder as well as sulfonated melamine formaldehyde in a spray-dried state, known under our brand name Plastyn. You can use the SMF in cement, dry mix mortars, and gypsum compounds. The SMF powder can be used as a water reducer or as a plasticiser additive to enhance retarding, air entrainment, and accelerating properties.

We also supply Sulfonated melamine formaldehyde in liquid form. It is typically used in reinforced, unarmoured, prestressed concrete, gypsum flooring, and any other application that requires gypsum. Contact us today to learn more about how we can supply quality Sulfonated melamine formaldehyde for your project.