Advertising Banners

16 May 2017
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Super tough flooring from waste - making better use of advertising banners

PVC (polyvinyl chloride)-coated polyester fabrics have delivered all kinds of benefits because they are waterproof and durable, so they are great for outdoor or long term use. They are what we use for truck tarpaulins, advertising banners and to cover Australia’s grain crops to protect them from the elements and contamination. When an Australian manufacturer of the massive tarpaulins used by wheat producers came to the SMaRT Centre they were looking for a way to recycle their products; they were not happy they were ending up in landfill. The challenge, however, is that although PVC and polyester can be recycled separately, there is currently no cost-effective or practical way to separate them again for conventional recycling when they have been bonded together. 

The SMaRT Centre began by investigating solution for PVC-coated polyester fabrics by using advertising banners, a very common and relatively manageable-sized PVC coated waste product. The answer they came up with was to finely shred the advertising banners with a precisely calculated mix of the waste cables that had been used to tie them up for display. The cables are denser than the banners and were needed in the mix as the shredded banners alone were too light and fluffy to be processed. With the help of some wax to hold the shredded materials together they can be hot pressed into a tough flooring product, that can also be coloured according to taste. They key is to control the temperature. The result is a new super strong waterproof flooring material that is resistant to chemicals, leaches no toxins and absorbs no moisture, so is a highly versatile material for construction.