In Hannover, the hometown of DOMOTEX, Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Marco Neudecker and Maximilian Bergholz, M. Eng. and their team at the Institut für Biokunststoffe und Bioverbundwerkstoffe (IfBB) are currently working on the processing and utilization of asparagus byproducts for biobased plastics. Known by the name "SpaPlast," they aim to make an important contribution in reducing nitrogen inputs into the environment.

Lower Saxons simply love asparagus

The project's objectives also includes the utilization of asparagus husks for the market segment of wood-plastic composites (WPC), which has a production volume of around 260,000 tons per year throughout Europe. A significant portion of the WPC is produced in Germany for flooring, decking and more. The researchers first prepare the asparagus husks and then process them using extrusion and injection molding technology. Ideally, asparagus husks will contribute to a circular, sustainable bioeconomy for application-related products in the near future - especially in the flooring segment.

Giving old carpets a new life

Companies such as Vorwerk, BASF, Findeisen as well as Freudenberg and also HEIMTEX, the Association of the German Home Textile Industry, are among the partners in a research project of the Aachen-based institutes TFI (Institute for Floor Systems) and IKV (Institute for Plastics Processing). This project aims to develop a completely circular textile floor covering. To date, old carpeting is mainly disposed in waste incineration for thermal recycling, whereby valuable plastics such as PA6 or PA6.6 are lost forever. Therefore, TFI and IKV are currently developing a method to produce textile floorings made from PA6, which are suitable for a cradle-to-cradle approach, by combining film extrusion and pile bonding using thermobonding technology.

Do it without glue!

Tarkett's Lino Loose-Lay xf² demonstrates how the metamorphosis of a traditional floor covering into a contemporary material with high environmental standards for climate-positive, circular furnishing can be successful. The linoleum flooring, which is available in rolls designed for loose-laid installation, is made from natural, bio-based materials and is free of phthalates as well as plasticizers. The adhesive-free installation eliminates adhesive fumes and odors.

Floorings for healthy housing and a healthy environment

ter Hürne, the renowned flooring specialist from Germany, is increasingly tailoring its entire portfolio to the growing awareness of sustainability. Including improved recycling properties and a longer product lifespan. These challenges are not unknown to the manufacturer. "Anyone who is familiar with ter Hürne knows that we don't make any compromises in our production: Not in terms of design, haptics, quality or functionality – and certainly not in terms of healthy housing and sustainability."

Naturally parquet

According to ter Hürne, parquet is still the most natural, healthy and sustainable floor covering available. Premium parquet is naturally beautiful and provides a sense of comfort as well as a healthy living environment for the entire family. However, for retail partners, the natural material is often challenging to sell. This is why ter Hürne now offers a convincing and efficient new product range with its new "Tailored Collection" kit. The highlight: 64 products are presented on two square meters (at the point of sale) in order to find the personal dream parquet quickly and with certainty. The entire Tailored Collection is thirteen millimeters thick with a two and a half millimeters thick top layer. Due to its base of spruce, the collection is also a cost-effective solution to the increasing prices of raw materials.

The best of two worlds

With the hybrid wood floor Hywood, a completely new and patented flooring genre, ter Hürne has already succeeded at DOMOTEX 2023. According to the laudatory speech, the GREEN COLLECTION Award winner combines the best of two worlds: In everyday use, the innovation is absolutely on a par with ordinary utility flooring and impresses with its water resistance. At the same time, the floor is made of almost 100 percent real wood and is also designed to be particularly resource-friendly due to its structure. Hywood convinces with all positive and healthy properties of natural wood and represents the future of wooden flooring in circular flooring design.

Talcusan – a new and intelligent material

With its large surface area, flooring plays a crucial role in a healthy indoor climate. The increasing level of insulation in buildings is reducing the exchange between indoor and outdoor air, and pollutants from wallpaper, furniture, paints, and conventional flooring remain in the air for much longer. Innovations like ter Hürne's Avatara counter this effect.The design floor is free of chlorine, phthalates, plasticizers and solvents. Instead of PVC, ter Hürne uses Talcusan, a new and intelligent material, which consists primarily of chalk and silicates. Only 30 percent of Talcusan consists of polymer polypropylene. Meanwhile the polypropylene is inert, meaning that there is no molecular migration. Polypropylene is a safe material and even used in food packaging. Ter Hürne's Talcusan floorings are therefore emission-free, saliva-proof, suitable for allergy sufferers, and anti-bacterial.

Award-winning upcycling

However, Avatara not only creates a beautiful and healthy home, it also contributes to more sustainability through upcycling. It is 100 percent recyclable and has been awarded with the Plastship certificate. This is because the company obtains two-thirds of the polypropylene used for Avatara from the German dual recycling system, which customers also know as "Grüner Punkt". A yogurt pot is thus turned into an elementary component of the floor without any compromises in terms of quality and healthy living.

ter Hürne has further upgraded the new generation of Avatara: With the N34 utility class and an additional functional layer, Avatara is even more break-resistant and twice as scratch-resistant as a vinyl floor. The new super-matt surface in a beautiful haptic surface structure, which intendeds to impress both – in looks and haptic.

Bio-based design floors

Finally, Sōya New Generation is a bio-based design vinyl floor that relies on the much-vaunted power of the soybean. With this innovation, ter Hürne's team has created the future of vinyl flooring, which intends to match a wide variety of requirements. To this end, the team has closely analyzed the developments in the vinyl market over the past few years and now present a new SPC range with a thickness of just 0.55 millimeters. Sōya New Generation is launched on the market as a 3-in-1 system. Each design is available as SPC ("Solid"), as dryback ("Pro") and as vinyl on wood backing ("Comfort"). In this context, the Comfort implementation is designed to be water-resistant in accordance with the NALFA requirement.

Vinyl composed with the knowhow of wood professionals

"We make vinyl with the know-how of wood professionals. For us, this means that we are not only close to nature in terms of design, but also combine the values that are important to us as a family business in our vinyl floors. Sōya is bio-based, low-emission, and certified with the best-known German eco-labels," emphasizes Nadine Lensing, Product Manager for Design Floors at ter Hürne.