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Flooring provider Tarkett is using infrared (IR) systems from Heraeus Noblelight at various points on a vinyl flooring production line at its Maidstone factory.

The IR systems are said to be improving production flexibility and giving the company more manufacturing control.

Tarkett’s Maidstone factory specialises in the production of non-slip flooring solutions for a range of commercial premises and hospitals.

The basic flooring production process consists of building up thicknesses of PVC paste on a PVC backing layer, which features a fibre-glass internal matting.

The basic flooring is imbued with non-slip properties by introducing silicon carbide and aluminium oxide into the top surface layer; flakes of PVC can also be introduced for aesthetic appeal.

The application of heat is an important part of the process, both to dry the backing layer and to ensure effective curing of the applied PVC pastes.

This was formerly achieved by the use of long-wave IR metal foil heaters, but these have now been replaced with carbon infrared (CIR) and medium-wave emitters.

In operation, the backing layer is heated as it exits from an accumulator by means of two CIR edge-heating modules, each containing 24 1kW emitters and a 27.5kW module to heat the width of the web.

This heating removes the moisture from the carrier material to improve bonding for the subsequent application of PVC paste and to prevent bubbling.

A bank of IR emitters is then located immediately after the first paste application station and this provides surface drying before volumetric heat is applied by an oil-heated roller.

The PVC web then passes to a second paste application station, after which it is heated by a third IR system before passing to a hot-air oven and an ultraviolet (UV) system for final cure.

‘The new system allows us the flexibility to cater for different product lines with different thickness of PVC layers and its controllability means that we can adjust heating to suit specific line speeds,’ said Terry Guy, production engineer at Tarkett Marley.

Infrared systems improve vinyl flooring production

Flooring provider Tarkett is using infrared (IR) systems from Heraeus Noblelight at various points on a vinyl flooring production line at its Maidstone factory.

The IR systems are said to be improving production flexibility and giving the company more manufacturing control.

Tarkett’s Maidstone factory specialises in the production of non-slip flooring solutions for a range of commercial premises and hospitals.

The basic flooring production process consists of building up thicknesses of PVC paste on a PVC backing layer, which features a fibre-glass internal matting.

The basic flooring is imbued with non-slip properties by introducing silicon carbide and aluminium oxide into the top surface layer; flakes of PVC can also be introduced for aesthetic appeal.

The application of heat is an important part of the process, both to dry the backing layer and to ensure effective curing of the applied PVC pastes.

This was formerly achieved by the use of long-wave IR metal foil heaters, but these have now been replaced with carbon infrared (CIR) and medium-wave emitters.

In operation, the backing layer is heated as it exits from an accumulator by means of two CIR edge-heating modules, each containing 24 1kW emitters and a 27.5kW module to heat the width of the web.

This heating removes the moisture from the carrier material to improve bonding for the subsequent application of PVC paste and to prevent bubbling.

A bank of IR emitters is then located immediately after the first paste application station and this provides surface drying before volumetric heat is applied by an oil-heated roller.

The PVC web then passes to a second paste application station, after which it is heated by a third IR system before passing to a hot-air oven and an ultraviolet (UV) system for final cure.

‘The new system allows us the flexibility to cater for different product lines with different thickness of PVC layers and its controllability means that we can adjust heating to suit specific line speeds,’ said Terry Guy, production engineer at Tarkett Marley.

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