Modern plastic materials need heat during processing, and flooring is no exception. Using Heraeus Noblelight infrared equipment, a Manchester, England flooring manufacturer is saving energy and money.

Carbon infrared emitters from Heraeus, in Hanau, Germany, are helping Polyflor improve the embossing quality on its heavy duty floor coverings. Infrared systems heat the large flat flooring material rapidly and homogenously immediately before the press, or embossing, station, which saves both energy and cost.

Polyflor floor coverings are used in schools, hospitals and commercial facilities throughout the world. In the manufacturing process, infrared emitters heat a 6.56' wide PVC web prior to being embossed with decorative patterns. Previously, shortwave infrared emitters had been used but not all colors heated optimally and geometric integrity frequently was compromised.

To solve the problem, Heraeus tested the application, and as a result, Polyflor installed a medium-wave carbon infrared system. Unlike shortwave- infrared radiation that penetrates deeply into thick plastic, medium-wave carbon infrared emitters heat the surface better. Testing can determine which radiation is best for specific tasks.

“The new system has ensured that embossing no longer affects floor covering geometry," says Neil Holden, Polyflor's senior development engineer. "We were very impressed with the tests carried out at the Heraeus Application Centre and with the way that the system was installed with minimum interruption to the production process.”

For more about Heraeus' infrared emitters and additional case histories, go to www.noblelight.net.

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