Helping carpet and artificial turf manufactures to go green

MEAF adds carpet backing solutions to in-house extruder test line

The Benelux carpet and artificial turf industry has taken a big step toward a greener future with the recent release of an industry road map. In the document the industry sets out ways to significantly reduce energy usage and to aim at 100% recyclability of their products. MEAF Machines has now set up its in-house extruder test and demonstration line specifically to help manufacturers to try out new greener carpet backing materials before committing to a large scale conversion of their production lines.

Examples of carpetbacking made with MEAF extrusion lines

‘The carpet and artificial turf industry is fully aware it needs to reduce its ecological footprint, both in the production as well as at the end of life cycle,’ says extrusion expert Rony d’Hollander. ‘Due to the demands placed on carpet backing, such as dimensional stability, moisture and wear resistance, but also ease of laying and cleaning, companies face quite a challenge to go from the traditional, hard to recycle, carpet backing to more sustainable solutions. At present the main materials used are bitumen and latex based products. The latter is a wet process that requires a lot of processing water and natural gas for drying tunnels, and neither can be easily recycled. A possible way out of the conundrum of the industry is to switch to thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) for carpet backing.’

Building on 75 years of machine building expertise, MEAF’s extruders are some of the best in class when it comes to flexibility, energy efficiency and installation footprint. ‘Not only our customers benefit from the modular design of our machines. It also allows us to easily rotate between a set-up for packaging or carpet backing on our test and demonstration line,’ says Roald de Bruijne, Sales Manager at MEAF. ‘Our screw and barrel technology can process almost any thermoplastic, even when larger quantities of fillers like CaCO3 or additives are used in order for the material properties to meet the industry’s specifications.’

Full render of MEAF in-house test extrusion line

Working closely with people from the carpet and artificial turf industry, MEAF modified its test and demonstration line to include new cooling rollers, while the extruder can now be set to produce  both primary and secondary backing. ‘And the beauty is that this technology can also be applied to their existing machines, making it easier for customers to make the switch to sustainable production on their current machinery.’

‘When companies are looking for a new type of raw material, material mixture or a new machine supplier, it is always helpful to be able to run a test before deciding the best way forward,’ adds Roald. ‘It is like taking a test drive when you are looking to buy a new car. With MEAF’s in-house test and demonstration line, we are happy to provide this capability to our customers as well.’