Hungary-based vinyl flooring maker Graboplast is developing what it claims is a revolutionary self-disinfecting and cleaning, abrasion-proof PVC flooring designed to aid hygiene in hospitals.
Győr-based Graboplast, together with Pannonia University of Veszprém in central Hungary, has embarked on a four year research and development project to produce the specially coated flexible floor covering.
European Union funding of almost €3m is covering nearly half the project investment which is expected to result in commercial production of the hygienic flooring with global export potential by 2020.
Work began on the latest Graboplast project in September last year with laboratory research being undertaken at the university and production development carried out at the firm’s premium vinyl products plant at Tatabánya.
The innovative flooring is aimed at helping to reduce hospital-related infections in healthcare institutions where infectious bacteria can be passed on through floor coverings. The vinyl floor has wider application beyond medical centres and nursing homes to the maintenance of hygiene in public areas such as classrooms and dressing rooms, according to the firm.
The R&D project aims to develop an easily applied varnish on the vinyl flooring that oxidises and destroys pathogenic agents in the presence of oxygen and air humidity with the help of an appropriate light intensity, explained Graboplast.
Old established Graboplast, already exporting more than 90% of its overall flooring output, believes there will be global demand for its innovation as it offers an effective solution to a general hygiene problem and consequent saving in healthcare expenditure.
Graboplast recently revealed a 4% jump in its annual sales in 2017 achieving total revenue worth almost €60mover the year. The company’s pre tax profit was also up showing an increase of 8% to reach €5.33m, it reported this month (May).
It employs a workforce of nearly 700 and operates three national plants producing a range of vinyl, parquet wood and WPC (wood plastic composite) interior floor coverings for residential, commercial, sports hall and transport applications.
Graboplast’s main production is at Győr in north western Hungary while the firm has expanded its export of premium PVC floor coverings at Tatabánya, also in the northwest. Parquet wood floors are manufactured at its Kecskémet facility in south eastern Hungary.
This year, the company expects to commit around €2.35m on capital investment across the business.