Melamine formaldehyde

Acronym and details:  

Group:   thermoset

Developed:   commercially, post World War II; heyday late 50s and early 60s; still in use for picnic ware and ashtrays

Trade names:   Argosy; Gaydon; Melaware; Melmex

Manufacturing process:   compression moulding

Cost:   low

Colour:   any, often two-toned

Transparency:   always opaque

Rigidity:   always rigid

Feel:   hard

Smell:   none

Other:   porcelain-like; capable of high gloss

Typical uses:   colourful table and picnic ware; ashtrays; a component of Formica™

Degradation:   relatively stable but scratches and stains