A rubber mat isn’t the most luxurious home product, but it is useful. Mats are necessary to wipe dirt off before stepping into the house, to keep the floor clean, and to add an aesthetic touch to your door, whether it’s placed inside or outside of the house. You may think there aren’t very many advancements that can be made to a doormat, but UK-based company SpaceBlue has done just that.
GEIC Products Line
A couple of months ago, SpaceBlue launched a graphene-enhanced flooring product called SpaceMat. This is just one of a range of products aimed at reducing wastage from vehicle tires, supported by the Graphene Engineering Innovation Center’s (GEIC) ERDF Bridging the Gap program at The University of Manchester.
In conjunction with the GEIC, Dr. Vivek Koncherry developed SpaceMat—a flooring product that uses graphene to improve the performance of recycled tire rubber compared to previous efforts.
It’s estimated that 1.5 billion waste tires are generated globally every year and most end up in landfill or being burned. Numerous attempts have been made to produce high-quality recycled rubber from tires, but the shedding of microparticles from resultant products has raised concerns over environmental health.
Vivek’s company SpaceBlue has developed graphene-enhanced recycled rubber products for mass-market applications that address this issue. The SpaceMat product is constructed from 80% waste tire material and 20% graphene-enhanced natural rubber. The graphene reportedly more than doubles the compressive strength of the rubber, in turn increasing the durability of the mat. Using graphene, it is possible to engineer the mechanical performance of the recycled material, bringing it close to the performance of a virgin polymer system.
James Baker, CEO Graphene@Manchester, said: “Our Bridging the Gap program specifically targets Greater Manchester-based SMEs and has been a great opportunity to support local innovation. It’s really exciting to see this new company entering into the market, in particular with its focus on supporting environmental sustainability and a good re-use of scrap tires, which otherwise could cause significant pollution and waste product.”
SpaceMat was also recently reviewed by Graphene-Info. They said, “One of the promises of the SpaceMat is its enhanced durability, and we definitely put that to the test…At first glance, the product looks impressive and aesthetically pleasing. In fact, many visitors and neighbors said it was great looking and even some asked us where they can buy one.”
Graphene-Info also states that, “Compared to regular recycled tire-rubber materials, it is extremely durable, as we can attest to.”
Future Plans and Immense Potential
SpaceBlue now plans to expand its product line as this material has many other potential applications, and is also looking to establish production sites around the world to make this product truly environmentally-friendly. The current mats are produced in India.
Learn more about this company on their website.
Source Name: Graphene-info