For years, designers have avoided flexible vinyl products over concerns about phthalates – chemicals that “plasticize” materials by increasing their flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity. The problem with phthalates is that they’re known to easily leach and evaporate into food or the atmosphere. And high doses have been shown to change hormone levels and cause birth defects.
Therefore, they are being phased out of many products in the United States, Canada and the European Union.
Now, Milwaukee-based InPro Corporation’s Door and Wall Protection Division is marketing flexible corner guards and bumpers for furniture made from a new phthalate-free, flexible vinyl, developed in partnership with its base vinyl supplier, Atlanta-based Georgia Gulf Corporation.
The new flex vinyl also means a healthier planet: The formula has received a BioPreferred certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), because it contains more than 25 percent renewable resources versus plastic alternatives derived from fossil fuels.
The USDA has established minimum biobased content standards for many product categories.
A product or package must meet or exceed the minimum biobased content percentage in its given category in order to use the Certified Biobased Product label. Where USDA has not established minimum biobased content standards for a product category, companies may apply for the Certified Biobased Product label if the product or package contains a minimum of 25 percent biobased content.
InPro leads its industry in producing biopolymer interior protection products. Launched in March 2010, InPro’s G2 (News - Alert) Blend products were the first to combine PETG with biopolymer.
InPro also is introducing a new rigid vinyl compound as a part of a broader sustainability initiative, which focuses on the replacement of heavy metal stabilization by using an organic-based stabilizer package.
The new family of organic-based compounds offers excellent physical properties that are critical to product performance.
“Since 2001, we’ve been the pioneer in our industry by engaging in rigorous R&D and testing of alternative materials,” said Glenn Kennedy, COO at InPro. “The market demands that companies like ours innovate, and move building products beyond just protecting against relentless damage to also safeguard the health of buildings and the people in them. We keep pushing the science so we don’t ever compromise our customers ‘choices in materials.’”
Looking to grow your channel opportunities? Then be sure to attend Channel Vision Expo (CVx), collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at Channel Vision Expo. Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Braden Becker