The biannual award is the most prestigious prize for industrial innovation in Belgium. Created by essenscia, the Belgian Federation for Chemistry and Life Sciences industries, it aims to promote innovations in the Belgian industry and encourages companies to invest even more in innovative and sustainable products and applications. During the evaluation of the nominated innovation projects, the jury assesses their link with chemistry, life sciences and materials, their contribution to sustainable development, their intellectual property management strategy as well as their added value for the economy.
Formally introduced in early 2019, UltraBond is a patented polyolefin bonding staple fibre that eliminates the need for latex or other chemical binders to bond nonwovens. It enables carpet manufacturers to create 100% PP needlepunch carpets that meet the same performance requirements as traditional constructions, while also reducing end-of-life environmental impact.
UltraBond helps manufacturers make a significant contribution to the circular economy through the production of 100% recyclable carpets. In addition to making recycled PP available for the plastics production chain and reduced waste generation, their total lack of water use and reduced energy use result in significant environmental advantages and financial savings. There is also a reduction in the VOC level of the carpet. This all leads to a significant reduction in a needlepunch carpet’s ecological footprint to the tune of a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions during the full production process.
Karena Cancilleri, Vice President Engineered Products for Beaulieu International Group, commented: “We are extremely proud to be nominated for this award, and I would like to thank essenscia for formally recognizing our efforts to introduce this significant change for our industry. Innovation is a key focus for our business to differentiate and to remain competitive on a global scale. This is also why we have invested €10 million in new production capacity and employment opportunities in Belgium.”
Ms Cancilleri added: “Today’s carpet industry is looking for a greener, more cost-effective production process, without reducing performance levels. We see textile flooring as just the beginning. Together with our customers, we look forward to exploring the potential of this unique thermal bonding fibre in other applications such as laminated nonwovens or as an alternative to dry powders.”