Interface reports successful trials of a biobased backing for its carpet tiles and announces extension of its own biobased range
Global modular flooring manufacturer, Interface, has developed the first ever biobased backing for carpet tiles that has now passed all European performance and quality tests, including low VOCs and high dimensional stability.
This announcement follows successful trials of the biobased compound developed by Interface and Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research in the Netherlands and a recent investment of 4.5 million Euros in a flexible new installation at its Scherpenzeel factory. As part of the investment Interface has also created a dedicated research and development team focussed on compound development. Interface expects to commercialise the biobased backing within the next 18 months and rollout across its EMEA product range.
The company’s strategy for playing a leading role in the circular economy is not about betting on a single recycled or biobased raw material, but instead creating a flexible manufacturing process that allows a wide range of recycled and biobased materials as inputs and outputs of the system.
Alongside this, Interface is continuing its partnership with Universal Fibres to progressively switch use of virgin nylons for those with increased biobased content. Since 2011, when Interface developed the first carpet tile with biobased nylon the company has made significant investments in expanding its manufacturing capabilities for using biobased materials.
Biobased formaldehyde-free glass fleece
Interface piloted a biobased formaldehyde-free glass fleece two years ago and has already sold two million sqm in EMEA. It is now progressively switching its entire European portfolio to this new glass fleece.
The biobased breakthroughs are a crucial step towards Interface’s mission to cut the umbilical cord to oil by 2020. Today, Interface’s 2015 EcoMetrics show that 50 per cent of the raw materials used to make its products globally are either recycled or biobased. Its goal is to achieve 100 per cent by 2020, and these latest biobased innovations will take Interface even closer to this milestone achievement.
Commenting on the advances in research and technology used to create biobased materials, Interface’s Chief Innovations Officer, Nigel Stansfield, said: “We identified biobased materials that do not compete with the food chain as the means to complement recycled materials and provide significant growth opportunities for our business.
“For the last 10 years we have designed and built manufacturing equipment flexible enough to handle a wide range of recycled and biobased materials. This technology collaboration with partners has enabled Interface to create a market leading range of biobased and recycled products that showcase the innovation and pioneering spirit all business leaders should apply to create a truly sustainable future for their organisations.”
For more information on Interface’s biobased innovations please visit http://www.interfaceflor.co.uk/web/closing-the-loop