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Välinge expands its horizons

March 5/12, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 19

By Ken Ryan

 

Las Vegas—Historically known for its prowess in the area of locking systems, Välinge Innovation is now positioning itself as a complete manufacturer, revealing plans to open a new hardwood production facility in Viken, Sweden, this summer that will produce what it hails as “a new generation of surfaces.”

The Nadura and Woodura surface technologies from Välinge provide durable surfaces with outstanding impact and wear resistance and can be used with a wide range of applications such as flooring, desktops or kitchen countertops. The company said Nadura is an extremely durable solid surface based on recycled wood fibers. Woodura, marketed as “real wood but stronger,” is a reinforced wood surface created by fusing a thin sheet of wood with a powder mix layer. The powder mix fills up the natural openings of the wood to enhance the wood appearance and create a stronger surface than traditional solid oak.

How it’s produced: Wood fiber, binder, hard particles and pigments in powder form are mixed together, creating a unique wood powder mix. The wood powder mix is scattered on a carrier and stabilized with liquid and heat prior to being processed under high pressure at 180°C. In the Woodura surface production process, a wood sheet is applied on a stabilized powder prior to the pressing operation. This allows the wood powder to be fused together with the wood sheet.

The product is “one of a kind,” Fredrik Olsson, manager business development, told FCNews at Surfaces.

Välinge also showcased Liteback, a core technology for thermoplastic flooring—LVT, SPC and WPC—that it said opens up opportunities to reduce raw material consumption during production and to make transportation more efficient. “We see that coming to market in the next six months,” Olsson said. “It brings advantage from the producer to the consumer. You can recycle it and put it back into production.”

Liteback saves on freight, the company said. How so? By using a grooving unit, grooves are milled on the backside of the floorboard. The grooving unit can be integrated in the regular production process, thereby eliminating the need for extra handling of the panels. The material that is removed in the process is recycled back into the production process and reduces material consumption by up to 20%.

“We are not a one-trick pony,” Olsson said. “At any one time we have five or six projects going on. This is an industry where you either evolve or die, and we prefer to evolve.”

The company’s signature 5G and 2G locking systems have both been optimized for resilient and thin products. The 5G locking systems are available for flooring products in thicknesses down to 4mm and the 2G angling locking system down to 3mm. “SPC is growing like crazy,” Olsson said. “We have a technical team on the ground in Europe and China and they inspect first runs, work with the manufacturer and make between 50 and 100 visits a year. With our technical team, you can get to market much faster.”

All of Välinge’s development activities take place at its state-of-the-art research and design center in Viken, where it creates new concepts and provides manufacturing, testing and technical support. Since its founding in 1993, the company has signed more than 200 licensees for its signature click technologies.