Processing Magazine

Dow brings recyclable carpet one step closer to reality

March 17, 2009

Barriers to truly sustainable solutions abound. So when a technology comes along that breaks those barriers, manufacturers pay attention. And now, one of the limitations to producing recyclable carpet has been addressed with HYPODâ„¢ Polyolefin Dispersions from The Dow Chemical Company. Many advances to make carpet recyclable have been achieved over the years, but providing a recyclable backing material has been a significant challenge. HYPOD Polyolefin Dispersions take carpet sustainability to the next level in multiple applications including modular carpet, broadloom, thermo-moldable products and artificial turf allowing carpet manufacturers to apply a thermoplastic backing, rather than a thermoset backing, while still using conventional coating equipment. Unlike many traditional carpet backing technologies, HYPOD Polyolefin Dispersions are thermoplastic which tends to be more compatible with carpet fibers and can facilitate easier recycling at the end of the carpet''s life. Thermoplastic backings also use less material, which may help preserve resources and energy and result in lighter weight carpeting. A lighter weight product typically requires less cost and fuel for shipping and allows for easier installation. "With more than seven billion pounds of carpet disposed of in North America and Europe together each year, enhancing the recyclability of carpet can have a huge environmental and economic impact," said Mike Levinson, commercial director, Dow Ventures & Business Development. "Improved technology partnered with sustainability advantages, make HYPOD Polyolefin Dispersions a winning choice for carpet manufacturers."