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melamine(mĕl`əmēn'), common name for 2,4,6-triamino-1,3,5-triazine. Melamine is a trimer (see polymerpolymer
, chemical compound with high molecular weight consisting of a number of structural units linked together by covalent bonds (see chemical bond). The simple molecules that may become structural units are themselves called monomers; two monomers combine to form a dimer,
..... Click the link for more information. ) of cyanamide, H2NC≡N, and is synthesized from calcium carbide. It condenses with formaldehyde to give a thermosetting resinresin,
any of a class of amorphous solids or semisolids. Resins are found in nature and are chiefly of vegetable origin. They are typically light yellow to dark brown in color; tasteless; odorless or faintly aromatic; translucent or transparent; brittle, fracturing like glass;
..... Click the link for more information. . Melamine resins have many uses, including the manufacture of plastic dishes under the trade name Melmac. Melamine also is notorious as a toxic adulterant of food and feed products. It is added to boost a product's nitrogen content, which is used by certain tests to estimate the product's protein content.
2,4,6-triamino-5-triazine; colorless crystals. Melting point, 354°C (with decomposition). It is virtually insoluble in cold water and most organic solvents. Melamine is a base, which interacts with acids to form salts (for example, C3H6N6HCl) that decompose upon heating. It is prepared from dicyandiamide, (NH2— C≡N)2, at a temperature of 180°-500° C and a pressure of 4–20 meganewtons per sq m (40–200 kilograms-force per sq cm).
Melamine is used in the manufacture of melamine-formaldehyde resins (plastics, adhesives, and varnishes), ion-exchange resins, tanning agents, and hexachloromelamine (which is used in the preparation of dyes and herbicides).