Komacel

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KomaCel sheets
Credit Kommersheets.com

Description

[Kommerling] A white, glossy, rigid foam board with a sandwich -like structure where the smooth outer skin and interior fine-cell foam are both composed of Polyvinyl chloride. The lightweight Komacel® boards were designed for screen printing and lamination. They were first made in Europe in 1976 and manufactured in the U.S. since 1996. The company indicates the weatherproof, light-fast boards are chemically resistant and provide thermal and sound insulation.

Some alternate products from the same company include:

  • KomaCel® Plus (Semi-rough surface that gives finished digital print an 'aged look')
  • KomaTex® (Free foamed sheet - no outer skin)
  • KomaLite® (More economical form of KomaTex)

Synonyms and Related Terms

Similar Products: ePVC; Forex; Sintra (3A Composites); Komatex; Komacel Plus; Palight (Palram)

Applications

  • Graphic substrate (screen printing, paintable, lettering enamels, vinyl lettering, direct printing)
  • Laminating
  • Case Furniture (plinths, flat panels, risers, etc.)
  • Acoustics (good acoustic and sound insulation)
  • Outdoor Use (weatherproof, Indoor/outdoor use without pretreatment)

Personal Risks

  • According to the manufacturer, Komacel® is free of formaldehyde, asbestos, lindane, PCB, PCP, CFCs, cadmium, and lead and do not contain any monomers, biocides, or plasticisers.
  • Can generate fine static cling dust when cut or sanded
  • Komacel: SDS

Collection Risks

Rigid PVC boards often contain volatile heat stabilizers, and other additives that can pose risks to collection materials. According to research published in August, 2020, Komacel® boards do not contain harmful heat stabilizers that are present in several other PVC boards. [1] It is important to keep in mind that not all PVC products have the same properties and therefore they should not be used interchangeably.

Komacel® has routinely passed Oddy tests (see below), but it is possible that low levels of hydrochloric acid will be released during the slow degradation of PVC products. Komacel® should be safe to use in most situations, especially for short term display. As an added precaution, avoid placing collection materials in direct contact with Komacel® without a barrier. [2]

Links to Oddy Test results posted on AIC Wiki Materials Database Pages for individual materials

  • MMA: [1] Komacel White gloss (2019/09/24; Pass)
  • MMA: [2] Komacel (2018/08/03; Pass)
  • MMA: [3] Komacel Plus (2016/12/19; Pass)
  • BM: [4] Komacel (2012/06/29; Pass)

Environmental Risks

Although the company reports that this product is 100% recyclable this is probably pre-consumer at the manufacturing plant. In practice, there is little to no reported success in finding someone to recycle PVC.

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • White Colors: Whites 652 (to match RAL 9010) & White 654 (to Match RAL9016)
  • Core is a noticeably different color for gloss finish despite homogeneous moulded-in color
  • Fire Safety could vary depending on thickness (Fire-cell foam structure, Low flammability, fire behavior according to UL94-VO, 4 mm thickness)
  • Weight Example: 4’x 8’ @ 19mm sheet: 72-76lbs
  • Thermal Expansion: Dark colors are not recommended for outdoor use (fluctuations if subjected to 175°F or greater)

Working Properties

  • Brittle when painted or finished
  • Edges need to be sealed/sanded to appear clean and polished
  • Subject to denting
  • Working Guidelines PVC-U Sheets
  • Material Storage Needs:
  1. Order with optional protective film double-sided or single-sides. NOTE: Film-laminated sheets should be used within 6 months.
  2. Always store Kömacel sheets on a level surface in a dry, air conditioned environment at about 15–20 °C. The packaged sheets should not be exposed to weathering effects and direct sunlight.
  3. Do not exceed the maximum stacking height of a truck when storing.

Forms and Sizes

  • Thicknesses: 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 10mm, 19mm, 24mm, 28mm, 30mm
  • Widths: 1000mm, 1220mm, 1250mm, 1560mm
  • Lengths: 2440mm, 3000mm, 3050mm, 4000mm
  • Finishes: white-2 variations; black finish available.

Resources and Citations

  • [1] Assessing the Suitability of Unplasticized Poly(Vinyl Chloride) for Museum Showcase Construction, Michael J. Samide and Greg Smith, 2020 Link
  • [2] CCI Technical Bulletin 32 - Products Used in Preventive Conservation Link
  • Komacel: Integral Foam Sheet
  • Kommerling PVC: Main brochure(pdf)