PVC Free Flooring

Problem

My client, a leading PVC flooring manufacturer, wanted to create a PVC free product to address the green market segment. They had a product almost ready for production but could not achieve adhesion between the polyolefin-based flooring and the polyurethane (PU) topcoat, even after months of trying. The PU layer is vital as it provides the wear resistance and allows the gloss to be tuned to suit local market preferences.

Action

Their employees, suppliers and me, then just a young consultant, were flown to London England for an emergency meeting. On the plane I read a book that gave me an idea for a totally new way to improve adhesion through covalent bonding between the polymer and the UV-cured polyurethane coating. I proposed it at the meeting but I had not yet built enough credibility so they did not try my idea right away.

Solution

After trying all the other ideas and failing, their technical expert drove 6 hours across Sweden to try my suggestion. We unpacked the coating equipment and within 10 minutes we had achieved perfect adhesion as shown by an industry standard cross-hatch peel test. This success built huge credibility in the company and resulted in many further consultancy jobs and projects on new and improved flooring.

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