Melamine is a type of organic compound that is used in making melamine resin, when it is mixed with formaldehyde. Melamine resin is a synthetic polymer that has fire and heat resistant properties. Melamine resin is a material that has many useful applications especially since it has a very stable structure. Among the uses for melamine include floor tiles, whiteboards, fire retardant fabrics, kitchen ware, and commercial filters. Melamine is very malleable when it is heated but quickly sets in its form and becomes rigid when cooled down.
Melamine resin is made through the process of mixing melamine with formaldehyde and sometimes urea. Heat and pressure are used in the mixing process in order to help polymerize the substances. The resin is then poured into molds that hold the desired shape for the resin.
Another term that is used alternatively with melamine resin is thermoset plastic. The reason for this name is that the resin (or plastic) is immediately fixed after it is molded. Melamine actually decomposes when it is exposed to high heat. This is the reason why melamine kitchen ware should not be exposed to the high temperatures emitted by conventional ovens and microwave ovens. Despite this, the plastic can still withstand relatively high temperatures compared to other forms of plastic. Thermoset plastic is a material that is hard to recycle.
Melamine can also be employed in making a foam product. Foam from melamine has a unique structure. It form stacked bubble shapes that are very hard and is very effective in cleaning many kinds of substances.