How to give architects and builders more flexibility in dreaming up new designs in wood? A lighter mix of wood and PVC that not only slashes the weight, but prevents water absorption. The Italian family-run business – Friul Filiere S.p.a.– has taken the long view to meet this market demand.

In the automotive business, high performance comes not only from the tiger under the bonnet, but the materials used throughout to ensure durability. What goes into interiors is especially key, and Vulcaflex has developed new PVC synthetic leathers to satisfy tough and tougher customers.

“Automakers in recent years have become increasingly demanding to customise interior trim and offer their customers a huge choice of options,” says Sergio Ballardini, director of research and development at Italian-based Vulcaflex.

For designer Davide Noti, CEO of Wallcovering Pubblicità, safety, aesthetics and innovation went hand-in-hand when he dreamed up the PentaSystem support for road signs using PVC. And no wonder – he’s had a hand in creating everything from sport clothes to electrical appliances for big companies for years.

“I dream every day, not always about commercial business. I run after my dream,” Noti says of his Milan-based company. But he insists, he’s practical as well. “To make the sun, artists add yellow. I add the sun.”

Desert dust can stop even the most high-tech armies in their tracks, affecting the electronics that make so much modern hardware tick. So can urban dust encumber a household. The Czech company Kopos Kolin has developed an airtight electro-installation box using some hybrid PVC technology which can prevent any dusty surprises.

How do they do it? With something called “progressive double injection technology.”

How to turn a simple watering can into a fashion statement? Ask Plastico Rototech who has years of experience exploring and developing the vast possibilities of soft PVC in juggling, sports and educational equipment. They enlisted Spanish designers CrousCalogero to beautify it while keeping it practical and functional.

The two-litre fashion accessory lets you get the watering chores done fast enough to get to your next social engagement. You may even want to bring it with you!

Longing for a break from myriad noises surrounding us? Not that easy, especially in urban centers. Who has never felt helpless in an ocean of decibels? The need to find a solution inspired Gerflor to develop one of its most recent PVC hybrid floorings: TopSilence.

Coming to the rescue in a window’s struggle against the elements: Renolit’s Exofol PX is breakthrough technology with a new plasticiser-free PVC film to laminate the exterior of window profiles and preserve them even in intense sunlight.

With a thickness of 200 µm, or two-tenths of a millimeter, Exofol PX is the company’s reinvention of exterior film, with an extended guarantee of up to 15 years for a whole range of colors and wood grains.

Imagine what 17th scientist Sir Francis Bacon could have dreamed up with PVC when he began developing hydroponics? Bacon took the technology of soil-less agriculture beyond the ancient Hanging Gardens of Babylon. In a water-thirsty world, Fopil saw the need to take another quantum leap.

A Portuguese manufacturer of industrial plastics, Fopil has developed a new system based on specially designed PVC profiles that boost the performance of continuous flow hydroponics growing systems.

Tight spaces, high temperatures, corrosion – all harsh conditions FIP had in mind when they first thought of creating the Easyfit PVC ball valve. This engineering and design feat took the Industrial Design prize at the SolVin Award.

FIP - Formatura Iniezione Polimeri – found the perfect synthesis for ball valve functionality requirements. Easyfit’s patented valve design is based on the principle of the bevel gear pair. That makes it possible to control the union nuts’ rotation by means of a multifunctional valve handle.

There’s a smoother, less energy-intensive glide with new PVC conveyor belts developed by Forbo Siegling, having drastically reduced their friction coefficient and using renewable raw materials to make them. The Biobelts earned them the SolVin Silver Award.

For greener manufacturing, petroleum-based feedstock has extensively been replaced by renewable materials. The belts are coated with the dry lubricant Texglide, giving energy savings of up to 40% by reducing friction on the  underside. The belts were first showcased at LogiMAT in Stuttgart last spring.