PHOENIX—Tandus has unveiled Ethos for modular carpet, featuring a $9 million technology that turns industrial waste from the manufacture of car windshields and safety glass into modular carpet backing. The mill collaborated with Kaiser Permanente to engineer and test the thermoplastic polymer derived from the film layer of shatterproof glass. According to Tandus, it is the first to reclaim the high-performance material that previously had no commercial end-of-life application.
“Ethos is a non-chlorinated thermoplastic that can be closed-loop recycled repeatedly through the Tandus Floor recycling program allowing it to be diverted from landfills indefinitely,” said Glen Hussman, Tandus’ president and CEO.
Tandus Technologies, the company’s research and development center, developed the sustainable floor composition over the past several years. Tandus also engineered a new manufacturing range to produce the sustainable Ethos tile backing. Kaiser, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit healthcare providers and a Tandus customer, partnered on the project and tested the backing extensively in high-endurance installations in its facilities. The collaboration is part of Kaiser’s ongoing commitment to stimulate production and specification of environmentally preferable products.
Ethos is an alternative to structured backings such as EVA, polyurethane, polyethylene, polyolefin and bitumen. Tandus Technologies evaluated Ethos along with 10 other polymer-based materials against stringent performance and environmental criteria and found that Ethos exceeded the other polymers in terms of material availability, reduction of virgin resources, recyclability and low environmental impact, Hussman noted.
“In addition,” he explained, “Ethos has extremely low VOCs and contains no chlorine, phthalates or antimicrobial pesticides. We introduced a formulation of Ethos for our Powerbond VCTT (variable cushion tufted textile) in 2004, and it has been used successfully throughout North America. We then began the development of Ethos for modular carpet in 2005.” A new manufacturing range was recently completed, paving the way for the market introduction of Ethos.
“Tandus continually engineers floor covering innovations to provide specifiers with new options in sustainability, performance and design,” Hussmann said. “We’re proud to bring this ambitious multi-year, multi-million-dollar project to fruition. We believe this alternative polymer system represents the next evolution in [soft] floor coverings.”
Ethos has 50% post-industrial content and an overall post-industrial recycled content of 26% to 50%, depending on the floor covering style, Hussman noted. Tandus also has developed the waste stream of post-consumer Ethos for Powerbond Ethos cushion with 18% post-consumer content.
Ethos for modular carpet is currently certified by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) with an NSF 140 Gold rating and is produced in Tandus’ ISO 14001-certified U.S. manufacturing facilities.
For more information, call 800.248.2878.