Researchers solve the sticky problem with carpet tiles

Mar 19, 2010

A new adhesive for use in carpet tiles which has been developed at the University of York could help dramatically reduce their impact on the environment.

The powerful currently used to bind the layers of carpet tiles together make it challenging to recycle them. In Europe, around 70 million kilogrammes of carpet tile waste is incinerated or sent to landfill sites every year.

Researchers in the University of York's Centre of Excellence have created a new starch-based alternative that allows the layers to be separated and recycled.

Testing has shown that the new adhesive is just as strong as established products, can withstand steam cleaning and is also highly flame retardant.

Professor James Clark, Director of the York Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, said: "Carpet tiles are becoming increasingly popular so it is important we find ways of producing them in a more sustainable way.

"The results of our research provide a potential solution to a serious waste problem and also demonstrate in broader terms how end-of-life considerations can be incorporated into product design without sacrificing quality."

A key characteristic of the product developed in York is that its adhesive quality can be switched on or off using a chemical treatment that is inexpensive and does not damage the tile materials.

The research, which is published in the journal Green Chemistry, was conducted in collaboration with the UK-based operation of global carpet tile manufacturer InterfaceFLOR.

During the mid-1990s the company changed its business model to consider and reduce the of every creative and manufacturing decision made. Now defined as Mission Zero, the company's drive to eliminate its impact on the environment by 2020 plays a central role in the innovation of its products, services and processes.

Miriam Turner, Innovations Project Manager at InterfaceFLOR, said: "We have been working with the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence since 2004, when we began sponsoring a PhD to develop this innovative technology.

"With Technology Strategy Board funding, we have been able to keep this project going, thus bridging the gap between promising academic work and pilot scale industrialisation.

"We believe this new adhesive could play an important role in helping us to achieve our Mission Zero goal."

Explore further: Marine pest provides advances in maritime anti-fouling and biomedicine

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Invasive mussel may inspire new adhesive

Aug 27, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The green mussel is known for being a notoriously invasive fouling species, but scientists have just discovered that it also has a very powerful form of adhesion in its foot, according to ...

New research will seal the future of green packaging

Nov 20, 2008

Researchers at the University of Bath and the food & drinks research centre at Campden BRI are leading a project to create a new high speed environmentally-friendly packaging process that will use recycled ...

Recommended for you

Nature inspires a greener way to make colorful plastics

12 hours ago

Long before humans figured out how to create colors, nature had already perfected the process—think stunning, bright butterfly wings of many different hues, for example. Now scientists are tapping into ...

New catalyst converts carbon dioxide to fuel

14 hours ago

Scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago have synthesized a catalyst that improves their system for converting waste carbon dioxide into syngas, a precursor of gasoline and other energy-rich products, bringing ...

Building the ideal rest stop for protons

Jul 29, 2014

Where protons, or positive charges, decide to rest makes the difference between proceeding towards ammonia (NH3) production or not, according to scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and ...

Cagey material acts as alcohol factory

Jul 29, 2014

Some chemical conversions are harder than others. Refining natural gas into an easy-to-transport, easy-to-store liquid alcohol has so far been a logistic and economic challenge. But now, a new material, designed ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

seneca
not rated yet Mar 29, 2010
This stuff is detailed herein

http://tinyurl.com/yzr4u9e