Aliphatic Elastollan® enables innovative overlays for demanding floor coverings

Online since 22.09.2016 • Filed under Industry news
Aliphatic Elastollan® enables innovative overlays for demanding floor coverings
  • Better resistance and more comfort for decorative floors
  • Excellent damping characteristics despite low layer thickness

Aliphatic TPU Elastollan® from BASF provides the basis for an innovative overlay solution for manufacturing modular designer floors or other decorative surfaces. The international packaging and paper company Mondi offers this newly developed surface material under the name roomskin® floor as a composite comprising a printed decorative support and a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) top layer.

This elastic, highly transparent surface layer is particularly thin and very durable. It provides a brilliant decor, feels pleasant to walk on and is used primarily in new types of floor coverings. In addition, surface structures that match the decor can be provided on an individual basis. For BASF this means an expansion of the range of applications for its aliphatic Elastollan grades: In addition to established applications such as glass interlayers or films to protect cars from stone chipping, the flexible plastic is now also being used in flooring.

The Elastollan grades which are based on aliphatic raw materials are light-fast, offer the high mechanical resilience that is typical of this material, and are available in a wide Shore hardness range from 75 A to 80 D. Thanks to Elastollan's very low emissions and odorlessness, the guideline values of the AgBB scheme (German Committee for Health-Related Evaluation of Building Products) are easily compliedwith. This ensures a healthy indoor climate in areas inside homes and in public buildings. Use of this surface layer also allows floors to meet the criteria for the “Blue Angel” seal of quality – this seal guarantees that products meet high standards in respect of the environment, health and use properties. This new type of overlay is therefore a solid alternative to floors containing PVC.

New application with potential

Mondi came up with the idea of developing this new area of application for Elastollan. “Thanks to the long-standing partnership with the material experts from BASF, we were able to put our idea into practice and develop a transparent surface layer based on Elastollan for the flooring market,” says Dr. Alexander Ohneiser, Applications and Process Development, Mondi Advanced Materials. “The plastic offers an ideal choice with its varied property profile. Elastollan enables us to meet the highest quality requirements in the flooring market.” It was thus possible to manufacture a decorative overlay with a special feel and exceptionally high wear resistance.

Mondi was able to win the global flooring manufacturer Egger as a customer. Egger is already using roomskin floor very successfully in its new Design+ flooring and is particularly impressed by the high resilience of the material along with the sustainability aspects. “Indentations which are created by everyday use are automatically repaired. The TPU surface layer on our timber-based designer floors allows us to offer a solution that gives the consumer more protection, improved room acoustics and more comfort,” says Stephan Unger, Head of the Retail Marketing Team at Egger.

Mondi will, also supported by BASF in the future, press ahead with further development of the overlay. The aim is to open up additional market segments with the films and coatings based on Elastollan.

The material Elastollan from BASF can be used for a wide range of different applications and, due it its wide range of properties, it is used in numerous sectors such as the automotive, mechanical engineering, and medical sectors, as well as in sport and leisure. Produced in an extrusion process, Elastollan is used in filaments and profiles, tubes and hoses, cable sheathing and films.

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