The Sweet Smell of Success - Wacker Chemie AG

The Sweet Smell of Success

Edel Group is a Dutch company that has now become the world’s first tufted-carpet manufacturer to coat the backs of its carpets with compounds based entirely on VINNAPAS® VAE dispersions. VAE binders offer a variety of advantages over traditional latex: they emit hardly any volatile organic compounds, provide greater flame-retardance, are easy to process – and are almost odorless.

This carpet does not smell. At least, not in the characteristic way of new carpets, even though it has come directly from the factory. This chocolate brown, super-cozy “Pamina” carpet made of polyamide fibers is so soft you have to feel it. This is being demonstrated by the Edel salesman to customers attending the Domotex Trade Fair for Floor Coverings in Hanover, Germany. This floor covering is just one example of Edel Group’s innovative line of carpets finished with a backing based entirely on vinyl acetate-ethylene dispersions (VAE). Edel Group markets these new carpet backings under the brand name “Ceneva®.” And it’s this binder that makes all the difference – including why the carpet smells the way it does.

Willem van der Meer (Edel Group purchasing manager, left) and Robert Tangelder (business development manager at WACKER), view the finished carpet’s quality in person.

“At first glance, our customers don’t notice anything different,” says Dr. Mike de Lange, operations manager at Edel Backing, a member of the Dutch Edel Group. The carpet backing looks the same as always. It holds the carpet together, stopping the fibers from coming away even after many years’ wear and tear. VAE dispersions from WACKER now enable Edel to produce a backing that can be processed with perfect results. The resulting backing is one which has excellent performance in everyday use and offers several additional benefits, of which the lack of an odor is only one.

The typical smell that pervades a room for several days after carpeting has been fitted is due to conventional styrene-butadiene latex (SBL) binders, explains Dr. Holger Künstle. He is in charge of WACKER POLYMERS’ carpet applications lab in Burghausen, Germany. Over the last few months, many square meters of carpet have passed through the hands of the chemist and his staff.