Thursday, March 18, 2010

Linoleum Floors

Renewable


Linoleum is made from all natural materials.

As long as the sun shines and the rain falls, Linoleum can be produced.

Life-cycle assessment scores, show exceptional performance for Linoleum and it is nature that provides the great start by providing renewable raw materials.

To produce Linoleum oxidized linseed oil (or a combination of oxidized linseed oil and tall oil) and rosin are mixed with the other raw materials to form linoleum granules, which are pressed onto a jute backing, making Linoleum sheets. These are then hung in drying rooms to allow them to cure and to acquire the required flexibility and resilience. To achieve maximum waste reduction all linoleum remnants are recycled back into the production process. All manufacturing takes place in accordance with ISO 14001 standards.

The natural raw materials used to create Linoleum are available in abundance:

Linseed oil

Linseed oil, the most important raw material used to make linoleum, is obtained by pressing the seeds of the flax plant. In the past linseed oil was used as cooking oil, as well as for lighting. Tall oil, a recycled post-industrial by-product of the Kraft paper industry, is a resin based fatty acid. In combination with linseed oil, it optimizes the oxidation process in the production of linoleum.

Rosin

Rosin, the binding agent in Linoleum and Artoleum, is tapped from pine trees, without affecting growth. Together with linseed oil, rosin gives Linoleum and Artoleum its strength and flexibility.

Wood flour

Wood flour is used to bind the pigments and to ensure colorfastness. Linoleum and Artoleum thus keep their beautiful, vibrant colors throughout their lifespan. Another reason for using wood flour is that it helps to optimize a smooth surface. We have chosen not to use tropical hardwood flour but wood flour made from timber grown in controlled European forests, where every tree felled is replaced.

Cork flour

Cork flour is made by grinding the bark of the cork oak, which is grown around the Mediterranean. The bark is peeled every seven to ten years without affecting the tree's growth. Cork flour is used as a raw material in two of our products: Bulletin Board and Corklinoleum.

Limestone

Limestone is found all over the world in enormous quantities. Very finely ground, it is a valuable ingredient of Linoleum and Artoleum.

Pigments

The most beautiful colors are created by using ecologically responsible pigments that do not contain heavy metals such as lead and cadmium.

Jute

From the wide variety of materials available for making the floor covering's backing we prefer natural jute. The yarn for the webbing is spun from jute grown in India and Bangladesh. This also makes vital economic contributions to these developing countries.

These raw materials are harvested or extracted with relatively little energy consumption. The main energy resource for the process is the sun. The plants and trees that supply linoleum's raw materials also contribute to the production of oxygen and the subsequent reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thus reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses present in the atmosphere.

Recycability


Linoleum Floors can be easily recycled.

End of life

Sooner or later - usually after around 25 to 40 years - Linoleum floors need to be replaced. Various options present themselves in terms of waste disposal.

Incineration

Burnt in an energy-recycling incineration plant, linoleum products produce a residual calorific value that is comparable to that of coal (18.6 Mj/kg). The amount of C02 released during incineration is roughly equivalent to that taken up by the natural raw materials used (flax plants, trees and jute plants).

Therefore, linoleum is a closed loop system: the energy obtained from incinerating linoleum is roughly equivalent to or even more than that which is used in production.

Landfill

As a common alternative to incineration, linoleum can be safely added to landfill refuse sites, where natural decomposition takes place. Linoleum is fully biodegradable and does not release harmful substances or gases such as chlorine and dioxins.

As linoleum's raw materials are provided by nature, and decomposition returns linoleum to nature, this is essentially the ultimate form of recycling. An additional advantage is that the recycling of other floor coverings, is usually associated with high levels of energy consumption, with very negative implications in an accurate LCA.

Linoleum Flooring Installation

Being socially responsible also means being proactive. All GreenFloors adhesives are 100% solvent free and meet all low VOC requirements, optimizing the environmental performance of the entire system.

USE & MAINTENANCE

Linoleum Floor care

Linoleum floors can be kept in good condition for a very long time without need for major maintenance. The most effective method for removing dust and loose dirt is by dry maintenance. These floor care methods have a positive influence on the environmental performance of linoleum. Cleaning with excessive water is never necessary and therefore very little waste water is generated for disposal. When the life span of floor coverings is taken into account (25-40 years), this positive effect is very substantial.

As long as 'dry' cleaning systems are used and under normal conditions, Linoleum floors in healthcare applications do not need significant quantities of disinfectants to be applied. The limited use of chemicals contributes very positively to the economic life cycle of the product as well.



Toxicity


Linoleum floors contain virtually no trace of toxic material and is naturally benificial to air quality.

Linoleum contains no heavy metals, the ETC finish used to optimize the maintenance properties of Linoleum is water-based.

The product contains no heavy metals such as:

• lead

• chrome

• cadmium

or any other environmentally incompatible additives such as:

• phtalates

• chlorine

• tar

• formaldehyde

• sulphur

• PVC, and/or asbestos

Linoleum is made from natural materials so there is no off gassing. Linoleum’s natural bactericidal and anti-static properties reduce the presence of dust and dirt and the subsequent growth of household mites and/or bacteria. There is also no build-up of dirt-attracting static electricity.



Life Cycle


Durable materials require less frequent replacement, generate less waste, and may also realize lower long-term costs. Linoleum floors are very durable usually lasting 25 to 40 years thus reducing cost per year and the floors impact on the environment.



Installation


Installation can be done using adhesives that are 100% solvent free and meet all low VOC adhesive requirements, optimizing the environmental performance of the entire system.

Maintenance

Floor care

Linoleum floors can be kept in good condition for a very long time without need for major maintenance. The most effective method for removing dust and loose dirt is by dry maintenance. These floor care methods have a positive influence on the environmental performance of linoleum. Cleaning with excessive water is never necessary and therefore very little waste water is generated for disposal. When the life span of floor coverings is taken into account (25-40 years), this positive effect is very substantial.

As long as 'dry' cleaning systems are used and under normal conditions, Linoleum floors in healthcare applications do not need significant quantities of disinfectants to be applied. The limited use of chemicals contributes very positively to the economic life cycle of the product as well.



Manufacturer Processes


The linoleum flooring manufacturing process:

First, oxidized linseed oil (or a combination of oxidized linseed oil and tall oil) and rosin are mixed with the other raw materials to form linoleum granules, which are pressed onto a jute backing, making Linoleum sheets. These are then hung in drying rooms to allow them to cure and to acquire the required flexibility and resilience. Maximum waste reduction takes place by recycling all linoleum remnants back into the production process. All manufacturing takes place in accordance with ISO 14001 standards.

Distribution Methods


LEED credits given for purchasing local materials.


This article was taken directly from Online Tips (www.greenfloors.com). Also, please visit my websites at www.americarpetfloors.com and www.stylishrugs.com for all your flooring needs.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for all the great posts from last year! I look forward to reading your blog, because they are always full of information that I can put to use. Thank you again, and God bless you in 2010.

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