Melamine Overview

Melamine is a white organic powder with chemical formula C3N6H6. It was first synthesised in 1830s by German scientist, Justus Liebig. It is manufactured industrially from Urea. Melamine plant is generally integrated with the fertilizer (Urea) complex as the by product of melamine production, ammonia and carbon dioxide, are raw materials for urea.
Melamine powder is tasteless, odourless and non-toxic. It can be brittle or soft, coarse or smooth depending on its grade. Generally, the higher grades of melamine are more brittle and on fabrication give thicker surface and greater resistance to abrasion. It has excellent fire retardant properties because it releases nitrogen when burned. Melamine is used in automotive, building and construction, electrical and electronics, fibers textile and coatings, furniture packaging and sports Industry.

Consumption of melamine in 2010 was estimated to be more than one million ton. The market growth potential in the Asian market is very good due to its increased usage in wood laminates and adhesives. Around half of the total melamine produced is used in making laminates. The next major usage of melamine is in production of wood adhesives, moulding materials and surface coatings.

Melamine is used as a raw a material for production of melamine formaldehyde (MF) and melamine urea formaldehyde (MUF) resins, which make the laminate heat resistant, chemical resistant, water proof, stronger, durable and give a stylish aesthetic finishes. Laminates can be either high Pressure Laminates (HPL) or Low Pressure Laminates (LPL). HPL are more durable, have greater impact strength. These laminates are used in furniture tops and laminate floors, Wall cladding, Cabinets in wood-based panels.

Melamine is used in making high quality adhesives to bond or glue a wide variety laminates, wood boards, furniture, building materials. Melamine adhesive resins are mixed with waste wood or wood chips to produce particle board (PB), medium density fibreboard (MFB), which are used extensively in construction works. Melamine adhesives are also used in making building support materials from softwoods which were earlier made from expensive hardwood.

Flame retardant coatings:
Melamine resins are used in making highly durable, flame retardant coatings. Melamine based flame retardants are preferred over the halogen based retardants because they are environment friendly and cost effective. When melamine based coating is exposed to fire, it decomposes to yield nitrogen and forms a charred coating which inhibits the further spread of flames. Melamine resins are used in paint, paper, textile and plastic industries.

Melamine moulding compounds:
Melamine formaldehyde resins are filled with cellulose to produce mouldings which are heat resistant, environment friendly and chemical resistant. As Melamine moulding compound is resistant to acidic food and extracts, it is used in making dinner ware and other house hold, commercial and industrial products.


Specification Of Melamine

CAS NO. 108-78-1
Molecular Formula C3-H6-N6
SYNONYMS Cyanurotriamide, Cyanurotriamine, Cyanuramid


Molecular Weight 126.12 g/mole
Color White.
Melting Point <250°C (482°F)
Specific Gravity 1.573 (Water = 1)
Vapor Density 4.34 (Air = 1)
Dispersion Properties See solubility in water.
Solubility Partially soluble in cold water.Insoluble in diethylether.


SALES Specification
Appearance at 25°C min (must pass), max (must pass)
pH, as supplied min (5.8), max (6.3)
Clarity, % min (85 %), max (100%)
Total solids, % min (25%), max (28%)
Total Aerobic Plate Count, (CFU/g) min (0), max (100)
Pathogens min (none detected), max (none detected)


Melamine is an organic compound that is often combined with formaldehyde to produce melamine resin, a synthetic polymer which is fire resistant and heat tolerant. Melamine resin is a very versatile material with a highly stable structure. Uses for melamine include whiteboards, floor tiles, kitchenware, fire retardant fabrics, and commercial filters. Melamine can be easily molded while warm, but will set into a fixed form. This property makes it ideally suited to certain industrial applications.