Richlite is a durable, versatile, and sustainable material made from resin-infused paper.
Originally developed over 70 years ago Richlite has expanded into a premium surface material used in many different areas. Handmade from many layers of high quality custom craft paper, Richlite’s surface texture comes from the natural variation in the way fibers lay within the paper. Composed of approximately 65% FSC®-certified or recycled paper content and 35% phenolic resin, Richlite’s color comes from a combination of the paper and the amber tone of the resin.
With many inherent advantages, Richlite continues to be utilized for its versatile range of features and benefits. Unlike stone or a solid surface, Richlite works similar to a dense hardwood and can be easily milled, sanded, routed, and joined. Richlite is water-resistant, sanitary, has low moisture absorption, heat and fire resistant, extraordinarily dense and durable, and has a natural appeal due to its paper construction.
HOW IT’S MADE
Made from many layers of high quality decorative paper, Richlite’s surface texture comes from the natural variation in the way fibres lay within the paper. These rolls of paper are saturated with a thermosetting resin before they are cut to length and laid up by hand. Each sheet is carefully stacked, alternating the direction of paper for the ultimate balance and stability. The stacks are pressed under even heat and pressure, which bonds the layers of paper together and cures the resin. The panels are then slowly cooled to produce a solid, stable sheet material.
Richlite’s colour comes from a combination of the colour of the paper and the deep amber tone of the resin. No dyes are added to the material, and all of the paper is either post consumer waste recycled or sustainably harvested FSC® Certified paper.
Unlike stone or solid surface, it works very similarly to an incredibly dense hardwood and can be milled, sanded, routed and joined. Richlite can be pressed to order from 3mm to 75mm in a range of sheet sizes up to 3660mm x 1525mm. It is shipped from the factory with a mill surface which can be used raw in some applications. Some applications need to be processed by a fabricator to create a leathered or honed surface for the best performance.
Founded in 1943 in the Pacific Northwest, Richlite was originally used for machine tooling by the aerospace industry. Eventually the paper-composite material was adopted by the commercial food industry due to its sanitary and durable qualities. Richlite was embraced by the marine industry due to its water-resistant construction, and the action sports industry for use in building skateparks. In the early 2000’s, the architecture and design community began to utilize Richlite for numerous interior and exterior applications. Today Richlite is widely used in consumer products and still in use as an industrial material.
We have Richlite on display in the Jones Britain showroom. It have to be the most tactile surface we have on display and the great thing about it is that its both really strong and extremely versatile which means that we can use it for almost any application in our bespoke kitchen designs.
Source of content from Richlite.com & surfacematter.co.uk
Blog Post written by: Dan Stronge, Head Kitchen Designer at Jones Britain Kitchens