Low-weight boards

Aluminium composite panels:
Throughfeed edge banding and processing

The complexity of products is increasing: a variety of modern materials requires innovative and flexible solutions. In this situation, the customer's requirement to apply aluminium edgings to aluminium composite panels and to process them became our incentive for technological progress. Applications of aluminium low weight boards [with two different core structures, i.e. aluminium honeycomb or aluminium cellular core] range from architecture through industry, transport, medicine technology to display systems.

A team of IMA R&D engineers, customer representatives, as well as the manufacturer of the aluminium composite board, of the edging material, of the adhesive and of the adhesive application system accompanied the entire process until it was ready to run in a production environment. The IMA research & development converted the various test series into a consequent machine concept formed out of standard components and special units. After an intensive research & development phase, the edge banding machine based on a single sided Combima SYSTEMS could be supplied to our customer.

Principle of operation:
Sandwich boards - edge banding and processing with IMA throughfeed or stationary systems

New high-tech low-weight boards / composite panels are increasingly utilised as attractive materials in furniture construction, interior construction and related branches. The structure of these low-weight but stiff ›sandwich boards‹ with two thin flat surface finishes, or facings, linked with each other through honeycomb-type or cellular-core structures formed with aluminium foils, tubular aluminium rails, stabilised textile fibres or paper board requires modified edge banding processes.

IMA offers two processes for a reliable bonding between the facing and edging materials both for stationary systems and throughfeed systems. Furthermore, the core can be treated so that the edging and the adhesive joint are given enough strength for reliably fixing the ironmongery.


The IMA-Foam-Glue process does not use any blind edging, but allows for durability and stability of the decorative edging by applying foam at the back. Special plastic foams fill the hollow spaces in the edging area; sensors determine the structure of the core and regulate the degree of filling to prevent the edging being bulged by overfilling and interrupting the bond. Adapted adhesives are employed to bond the decorative edging to the surface finish; sometimes the finish requires special pre-treatment. The adhesive, edging and plastic foam can be adapted to certain requirements, e.g. to meet fire resistance or hygienic demands. With this process, the user no longer depends on the use of special facing profiles.

IMA blind edging technologie

First the core is cut away so that an approx. 3 mm thick blind edging can be glued into this cut-away. In the cutting process, facings of great thickness are rebated. The blind edging is embedded in glue and offers reliable support for the decorative edging. Special IMA units allow for cost-effective production - the blind edging and decorative edging can be applied in one pass.

If particularly great demands are placed on the strength of the panel end face, e.g. when ironmongery needs to be fixed, a broad lipping can be bonded instead of the blind edging. In effect, this also allows efficient production of shelves that shall, for example, be fixed laterally to frames or be linked with cabinet side panels through ironmongery.

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