Interface Chooses Shell Corterra For New Solenium Flooring System

Interface Inc., Atlanta, is using yarns made with Shell Chemicals Corterra Polymers to produce its
new Solenium resilient textile floorcovering.According to Interface, this revolutionary flooring
combines the wear and maintenance properties of vinyl with the style, comfort and other benefits of
carpet.Solenium comprises an impermeable polycarbite urethane cushion backing, a bond coat and a
fiber layer. The fiber is made from extruded Corterra, the trade name for polytrimethylene
terephthalate (PTT), a thermoplastic that can be spun into fibers and yarns that are hard wearing,
inherently stain resistant and extremely easy to clean.
(See Quality Fabric of the Month, ATI August 1999).The Interface backing provides a
moisture barrier that liquids cannot penetrate, the company says. Because of this, the flooring can
be cleaned like linoleum or tile with warm water. Under normal indoor conditions, the Corterra
Fibers portion will dry in less than one hour. Interface estimates that the ease of cleaning will
reduce maintenance costs by as much as 40 percent.The flooring also has an anti-microbal ingredient
to combat bacteria, a feature that is unique in the floorcoverings industry.John McIntosh, director
of business development for Solenium, said that the new carpet could open markets that have not
been traditionally strong for commercial flooring manufacturers, including schools and health care
facilities.When Interface set out to create a whole new category of floorcovering, there clearly
was only one product on the market that met all their specifications, Corterra PTT, said Phil
Dalton, vice president, Corterra Polymers. The Shell PTT has a durability that is equal to or
better than that of other resilient flooring. It has inherent stain resistance, which is far better
than nylon, which is more likely to stain. It accepts a wider array of dyes and pigments and it
holds colors better. And it has the potential for recycling, once recycling programs are
established.McIntosh said: We believe it’s the most exciting thing to happen to the flooring
industry in more than 25 years.”The availability of new materials and technology lets us sell a
solution, not just a product. Solenium provides the durability and resilience of linoleum or sheet
vinyl covering and the practicality, comfort, safety and aesthetic feel of carpet.”According to
Dalton, Corterra Polymers are also well suited for the apparel, automotive and industrial fiber

September 1999