Rippled Rental Mats
Why do mats ripple ?
The answer to this question is simple. Mat ripple because the carpet and primary backing shrink more than the rubber backing/border.
Washing and drying makes the carpet shrink. Different washing/drying can accelerate or deaccelerate the problem, but can’t prevent it.
Rubber ages and becomes less strong.
When carpet/primary backing shrinks more than the rubber it compresses the border and ripples will show more and more.
The bigger the differenc ein shrinkage between carpet/primary backing and rubber the more ripples will be visible.
There is a very simple test to make the difference in shrinkage between carpet/primary backing and rubber visible.
Take a rippled mat.
Use a sharp cutter knife and cut of the border only (around 2 cm or 3/4 inch) without carpet.
Lay the cut of border next to the mat.
The image shows the result, the cut of border will become longer, showing the difference in shrinkage between carpet and rubber.
The bigger the difference in shrinkage the more ripples will be visible in the mat.
When the difference in shrinkage is small, after cutting of the border no ripples will be visible.
If the difference is very big, for example 2% ripples will remain visible even after the border has been cut off.
Mats in the past used to last up to 10 years or more before a serious amount of ripples became visible.
Manufacturers currently lack the knowledge to solve this problem. They are now selling more mats because mats have a shorter lifetime. Making mats last longer will in the end cost them money.
There is no one single reason that causes the ripple problem but many together. Some of these reasons are not even know to current manufacturers others have been done by saving cost.
Carpet is tufted on a so called primary backing. For mats this is a non woven. Currently almost all washable mat manufacturers are using a 100% polyester non woven. There is also a 50% polyester / 50% nylon non woven. The 100% polyester is cheaper around 0,10 to 0,15 euro per m2. The problem is that in the carpet printing industry it is common knowledge that the 100% polyester non woven has a higher shrinkage than the more expensive polyester/nylon non woven. A higher shrinkage adds to the ripple problem but as said before replacing the polyester by a polyester/nylon will not solve the ripple problem, it is although a small piece in the puzzle to help reduce this. Why current mat manufacturers are not using the polyester/nylon that has less shrinkage ? The only reason we can think of is price.
Primary backing is 1 piece of the puzzle but there are some more which influence the shrinkage behaviour of carpet/primary backing. some are simple solutions, some go very deep into processing of materials.
The final piece to the ripple puzzle is shrinkage of the rubber. Make the rubber shrink more or at least equally as the carpet. It will take much longer for ripples to appear. We know how this can be done by modification of the rubber formula and critical selection of all raw materials in the rubber formula. We have also developed a extreme wash trial, 10 washes 2 days to prove that our modified rubber has a similar of higher shrinkage than the carpet.
Interested in a Solution ?
We can reduce ripples in mats, increase lifetime of mats