LAGRANGE, GA.—InterfaceFLOR is previewing new products that represent the first commercial carpet made from post-consumer, recycled nylon 6,6 fiber. InterfaceFLOR has formed an exclusive, international alliance with an Italian-American company to introduce a patent-pending technology that allows for effective and affordable reclamation of nylon 6,6 in order to recycle it for use in the commercial market.
Through the new technology, InterfaceFLOR will now be able to reclaim all types of carpet from both the commercial and residential marketplaces, regardless of the type of face fiber or backing used, thereby reducing waste sent to landfills and further reducing the company’s reliance on virgin materials. This represents further progress in the company’s Mission Zero promise to eliminate any negative environmental impact it may have by the year 2020.
The new technology was developed in Italy by Sergio Dell’Orco and Frank J. Levy, co-owners of Post Consumer Carpet Processing Technologies LLC (PCC). Their 40-year background in textile recycling processes and technology was critical to creating a customized system for the carpet industry.
A Recycling Breakthrough
“One technological hurdle the industry has faced is the ability to separate carpet face fiber from backing in a way that preserves the materials in a pure enough form for recycling, and in a way that is economically feasible,” says David Hobbs, president of InterfaceFLOR Commercial. “Our industry as a whole has particularly struggled with developing a viable way to recycle nylon 6,6, the most prevalent fiber used in the commercial market. Through close collaboration with PCC we were able to implement an innovative technology that represents a breakthrough for our industry and furthers our progress toward eliminating virgin materials in our products.”
Working in conjunction with Universal Fibers Inc., nylon 6,6 from reclaimed sources will be recycled for use in InterfaceFLOR products. Vinyl backing from the reclaimed carpet will be recycled into backing for InterfaceFLOR products via the company’s Cool Blue backing technology. InterfaceFLOR has identified streams of use for other types of carpet face and backing material that will be reclaimed, such as nylon 6, polyester or polypropylene, thus eliminating the need for any type of carpet to ever go to a landfill or an incinerator in the future.
A market leader in recycled nylon systems, Universal has worked with InterfaceFLOR for more than 10 years in the development of post-industrial nylon. Now, with its own breakthrough technology, Universal has developed the ability to process first quality solution dyed, post consumer nylon 6,6 fibers.
InterfaceFLOR showed the first in a collection of new products at the NeoCon World Trade Fair earlier this month and plans a comprehensive product rollout in the fall. Dubbed ReEntropy, the collection represents the next step in the evolution of the Entropy product line, one of InterfaceFLOR’s most successful products on the market during the last several years.
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