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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For greener manufacturing, petroleum-based feedstock has extensively been replaced by renewable materials.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.

Recycling can be inefficient if there is a lack of coordination between collection companies and the recyclers. Difficult lots may end up being thrown in a landfill.   Taking that issue head-on, Plasticos Escanero developed vertical integration in the process, turning sludge into new materials, and winning the Solvin Award for Recycling.

“We tackled three main problems with this waste stream: the high water content, the wide range of colors, and the different kinds of resins,” said Escanero Rivas of Plasticos Escanero. 

It could be a model for further collaboration. BASF SE, Renolit, Sanquin Blood Bank and an undisclosed medical device supplier teamed up to find an long-awaited solution for the medical device industry, which earned them the Solvin Award Special Prize.

Molecor has defied all the odds. The company, which started up as the financial crisis broke has rocketed to win this year’s SolVin Gold Award thanks to its new PVC pipe with the largest diameter on the market today.

Water management is a key issue in a planet expected to be home for 9 billion people by 2050. As the need for irrigation to grow food and provide clean water for sanitation continues to go up, PVC pipe, while durable, light and recyclable, also needed to expand.

In the land of Calvados, the Depestele Group is using cutting-edge technology to combine fibre and resin for transportation, wind energy, construction, sports and leisure applications. That’s how they snatched the SolVin Bronze Award.

The Innovation consists of a flax reinforcement impregnated with vinyl latex (NanoVin® developed by SolVin) giving pre-impregnated composite fibres “pre-pregs” the seemingly magical quality of being flexible before forming and very rigid after forming.

Why throw it away when you can build something with it? British company Affresol is turning tons of PVC scrap, combined with stone, into an innovative building material called Thermo Polymerized Rock. But they didn’t do it alone.

“From 2007 to 2012 we were researching and developing the product in partnership with Cardiff University,” says Neil Jones, Affresol’s business development manager. “The product has now a registered trademark as TPR®.”

It’s far and away from the aluminum façade craze of the 1950s in America, portrayed by the comedy film “Tin Men” with Danny de Vito playing a salesman using every trick in the book. For today’s far more demanding and knowledgeable customers, Germany’s Vinylit has successfully devised vinyTherm: a rear-ventilated façade combining PVC and natural stone.

“The most conspicuous thing about vinyTherm is its inconspicuousness, says its developer, Mr Buchfeldt.