Extreme Wash Process
Mat manufacturers and laundries test mat to see if the mats will perform. The main reason for testing is ripples and less adhesion of the carpet to the rubber.
The standard test method will 100x washing in their current wash process. Mats are washed together with other mats and this can take up to 3 month before any result can be seem. some mat manufacturers will also test 200 washes and this can be done to test wash fastness for logo mat colours. For standard mats mainly solutions dyed, fastness of color is no problem anymore.
The problem is that 100 wash cycles are typically 3-4 years in service.
From several laundries we spoke to we hear that when washed 100x in 3 month mats show no sign of ripples.
In real life mats can show their first small ripple after 40-60 washes.
The reason is very simple. When washed 100x in 3-4 years the rubber also ages.
When washed 100 times in 3 month the rubber doesn’t age at the same as in 3-4 years.
One laundry gave us a good example. for mat well typically a extra/double thick rubber is used. This rubber being around 3mm thick is able to withstand the shrink forces of the carpet. Extra think rubber backed mats show less shrinkage. but he observed that after around 3.5 years these mats would all of a sudden shrink a few cm, why. This is probably the point where aging kick in and the rubber becomes weaker when aged, not being able to withstand the shrink force of the carpet.
So when washing mats 100x no conclusions can be drawn regarding ripple issues. 100x washing can give an idea on the fastness of printed colors and if there are any adhesion problems between yarn and rubber. But even for this aging of the rubber plays a big role.
Ripples remain an big issue and laundries are looking for solutions. Mats need to last longer and longer to be inline with EU green deal. A longer lasting product is always the step to more sustainability.
currently there is no valid testing method for laundries and manufacturers to test of prove that mats will last longer / taking more time for mats to ripple. Even when a mat manufacturer claims this how can he prove this ?
Increasing lifetime means the mat will become a bit more expensive. But why pay extra if you are not given a guarantee or are able to test mats will last longer.
for this we have developed a simple, extreme wash trail.
This trial only takes 10 wash cycles.
In this wash cycles the shrinkage of yarn / primary backing is accelerated.
The rubber will ago 35/70 times more when compared to 100x washing in 3 month.
Difference in shrinkage between yarn/primary backing and rubber can be easily tested.
This test works for laundries being able to test for shrinkage of new mats.
Mat manufacturers can use this test to accelerate development of rubber for shrinkage. We know how to shrink rubber and this test is an easy test to prove our modified rubber formula will shrink more, creating less ripples than current mat rubbers.
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