New company to challenge hardwood flooring with plastic-woodfibre composite (August 01, 2000)
SHW Technologies Inc. (SHW) has developed Synthetic Hardwood flooring made of oriented polymers and hardwood fibre that is an affordable, water resistant alternative to hardwood and laminate flooring....
SHW Technologies Inc. (SHW) has developed Synthetic Hardwood flooring made of oriented polymers and hardwood fibre that is an affordable, water resistant alternative to hardwood and laminate flooring. SHW’s oriented polymer flooring is impermeable to water, resists fungus and insects and has a polyurethane finish–comparable with other floor finishes.
Synthetic Hardwood, and the technology surrounding the extrusion orientation process, is the result of over 30 years of research and development. Polypropylene and a by-product of the wood industry, woodfibre, are combined in a mixing process. A wood grained effect is achieved through orientation.
Founded by Dr. Frank Maine, SHW was the first company in the world to commercialize this oriented polymer process producing a musical drumstick, called EMMite. Having proven that it was possible to manufacture and market the oriented polymer technology, the next step was to move into the larger hardwood flooring market.
A 20,000 sq. ft. plant in Guelph, Ontario plant will be complete by September. Maine expects production to reach an annual production capacity of 3 million square feet of flooring within twelve months.
The flooring product was introduced at a Materials and Manufacturing Ontario conference held in late May called “Progress in Woodfibre-Plastic Composites–Meeting the Challenges Ahead”.
A unique, interlocking one-step snap lock design allows for quick and easy installation of the composite flooring, and permits the flooring to be easily installed over concrete or old flooring (except carpet).
“The manufacturing of Synthetic Hardwood flooring addresses various environmental concerns while allowing us to make a superior product at a reduced cost,” says Maine. “Our manufacturing process uses only woodfibre that would otherwise be discarded, along with polypropylene which can be recycled.”