Daily Archives: January 2, 2017

Resilient Flooring

Unlike ceramic and stone tiles, which are made of minerals, resilient flooring is made of materials that have some elasticity, giving the flooring a degree of flexibility called resilience. Performance surfaces used for dance or athletics are usually made of wood or resilient flooring. Resilient flooring includes many different manufactured products including PVC, linoleum, sheet vinyl, vinyl composition tile (VCT), cork (sheet or tile), and rubber.

Vinyl flooring is available in Injection molded tiles, large sheets or pre-cut tiles; the former is resilient. Some come with a pre-applied adhesive for peel-and-stick installation, others require adhesive to be spread on to the substrate.

The two basic categories of vinyl floor tiles are solid vinyl and vinyl composition, and the three basic categories of vinyl sheet flooring are homogeneous, inlaid, and layered composite. These types of vinyl flooring differ in manufacturing process and content, ranging in vinyl (polyvinyl chloride) content from 11% to 55%.[6]

Resilient flooring products, such as PVC and polypropylene are becoming more popular in specialty applications such as trailer flooring and garage flooring. New applications have also emerged for marine flooring. There are important factors to consider in specialty applications, that may not be present in a typical application. For example, certain tires will leave marks on PVC flooring but those marks will be less prevalent on polypropylene products. Adhesives also change based on application.

What is PVC?

Plastics are also called synthetic resins and are broadly classified into two categories: thermosetting resins and thermoplastic resins.

The thermosetting resins include phenolic resin and melamine resin, which are thermally hardened and never become soft again. Thermoplastic resins include PVC, polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS) and polypropylene (PP), which can be re-softened by heating.

Usually, thermoplastics are supplied in the form of pelletised material (compounds) with additives (antioxidants, etc.) already blended in it. However, PVC resin is often supplied in powder form and long term storage is possible since the material is resistant to oxidation and degradation. Various additives and pigments are added to PVC during the processing stage, and the blend is then converted into PVC products.

PVC is sometimes known as ‘Vinyl’ in Europe and predominantly so in North America. In Europe, ‘Vinyl’ usually refers to certain specific flexible applications, such as flooring, decorative sheets and artificial leather.

PVC is a thermoplastic made of 57% chlorine (derived from industrial grade salt) and 43% carbon (derived predominantly from oil / gas via ethylene). It is less dependent than other polymers on crude oil or natural gas, which are nonrenewable, and hence can be regarded as a natural resource saving plastic, in contrast to plastics such as PE, PP, PET and PS, which are totally dependent on oil or gas. This chlorine gives to PVC excellent fire resistance.

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