Quality and testing specifications RAL-GZ 434
NEW QUALITY STANDARD FOR THE SURFACE INDUSTRY
THE NEW RAL GÜTEZEICHEN 3D MÖBELFRONTEN ENSURES HIGHEST QUALITY IN ALL PROCESSES WHILE SETTING NEW QUALITY STANDARDS IN KITCHEN AND BATH.
RAL-CERTIFIED DOORS PROMISE
- Durability of bonding
- Heat resistance
- Moisture and climat resistance
- Exposure to steam
- Specific test methods
- Increase of process quality and control
- Traceability by systematic documentation of all production data
RAL GÜTEZEICHEN 3D Möbelfronten
- Validation in July 2013
- Quality- and testing methods finalised
- RAL-certified 3D doors probably available November 2013
History and Milestones of RAL-GZ-434
Dreidimensionale Möbelfronten e.V., a quality association for three-dimensional furniture fronts, was founded in Munich, Germany in March 2011 with the aim of providing an accurate description of the requirements for high-quality furniture fronts and hence to strengthen the image of 3D furniture fronts. All parties involved in this association hope for increased demand for furniture fronts produced using this manufacturing process. Of particular note here are surface coatings for surfaces and edges, as well as the possibility of profiles created "all from one cast".
All relevant disciplines are represented in this quality association: prestigious manufacturers of three-dimensional furniture fronts and their suppliers for foils, adhesives and medium density fibreboard (MDF). In particular, these include furniture door manufacturers 3B, Arko and Ilcam (all based between Venice and Trieste), as well as their suppliers RENOLIT SE in Worms for 3D furniture foil, Durante & Vivan in I-Ghirano di Prata for adhesives, and Bipan Frati in I-Bicinicco for MDF. The quality association has received and will continue to receive support, for example in the development of test criteria, from the leading European institutes CATAS I-Giovanni al Natisone, IHD Dresden and LGA Nuremberg. At the same time, we are constantly seeking new contacts in the kitchen furniture industry as well as with associations such as AMK (The Modern Kitchen Working Group), to ensure that the new criteria correspond with market requirements.
Together, new testing methods have been developed to guarantee long-term resistance to climatic conditions of three-dimensional furniture fronts, which were achieved through large-scale tests. Initially, a variety of MDF qualities were produced on a laboratory scale. From this wide variety of MDF qualities, furniture fronts were manufactured using a wide range of foils and adhesives, using both laboratory presses and industrial facilities. In total, 576 versions (combinations of MDF, films, adhesives and treatment processes) were tested and evaluated, in order to make a reliable statement.
This large-scale testing confirmed that 3D furniture fronts that fulfil the requirements stated in the quality and testing regulations are high quality, durable and particularly suitable for use in kitchens. A new test procedure was incorporated into the test regulations as a significant and important test for long-term resistance to climatic conditions.
In July 2013, the quality assurance was recognised by the RAL-Institute in Sankt Augustin. The quality association is managed by the GZ-434 quality mark.
As the last milestone towards the final implementation, and until RAL-certified 3D furniture fronts can be obtained from furniture manufacturers etc., all of the components currently involved in the entire system are tested in accordance with the tests and conditions defined in the quality and testing regulations. These should be completed by November of this year and then a new, trend-setting quality standard for 3D furniture fronts will be available on the market.
Compliance with all of the defined criteria is ensured through self-monitoring by manufacturers of three-dimensional furniture fronts as stipulated by the quality association and through third-party inspections by independent testing institutes. Moreover, accurately defined documentation ensures perfect traceability of all machines, parameters and materials used.
The new quality standards are expected to receive a positive reception from the furniture industry and as a result of the level of demand, new manufacturers of 3D furniture fronts, foils, adhesives and MDF will also apply to be accepted by the quality association.