Furniture manufacturers need to deliver products that provide more than strength and beauty. Consumers are concerned that using “one-size-fits-all” seating – both at work and at home – may result in long-term health issues. Experts on the health risks associated with sitting for long periods recommend that office workers use ergonomic chairs and move around between flexible workspaces throughout the day.
Consumers who frequently work from home are likely to look for furniture that’s designed to provide extra support where they’re prone to discomfort. To deliver on significantly improving end-user comfort, furniture manufacturers are leveraging thermoplastic materials that offer superior design flexibility. Plus, furniture brands are under pressure to make their operations more sustainable.
Consumers are likely to favor manufacturers that take an active role in protecting the environment by using bio-based and recyclable materials. Furniture producers are also cutting their use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous chemicals to ensure compliance with existing and evolving regulatory requirements. Manufacturers face the challenge of sourcing materials that cost-effectively support greener production, without compromising end-product performance and reliability.
DSM has long-standing partnerships with leading global furniture brands. Together, we’ve developed advanced materials engineered to overcome numerous design challenges within the industry. Our current portfolio of Akulon® and Arnitel® solutions enable manufacturers to produce high-quality and sustainable finished products built to optimize customer comfort.
Akulon polyamides (PA6) offer market-proven solutions for manufacturing durable and lightweight structural components, including chair frames, bases and arms. High flow and high mechanical strength offer excellent design flexibility for producing thinner parts that remain reliable and long lasting. Unlike metal, the material doesn’t require corrosion protection coating – and it yields a better surface appearance than PA66 competitors. Akulon® RePurposed, which annually reuses over 3,000 metric tonnes of abandoned plastic fishing nets, enables manufacturers to substantially increase their use of recycled materials.
Arnitel is an industry-leading thermoplastic copolyester (TPC) with the high strength, durability and flexibility needed for high-quality seat suspensions and fabric layers. The material can be made into TPC foam beads that offer enhanced shape retention, cushioning and ergonomic support. With inherent chemical resistance, Arnitel prevents premature wear on parts that are frequently sanitized with harsh cleaning products. Our cutting-edge bio-based grade Arnitel Eco, which offers performance characteristics comparable to various Arnitel grades, reduces your carbon footprint by up to 40%.
As part of our global commitment to sustainability, DSM is focused on delivering smarter, eco-friendlier solutions for manufacturers worldwide. We work closely with leading furniture brands to develop materials that meet their consumers’ evolving needs and support the transition to greener operations – increasing customer loyalty and ensuring regulatory compliance. Through ongoing research, development and testing, our goal is to provide closed-loop, cradle-to-cradle solutions that help support a brighter future for all.
Sales Director of Specialty Industries
12 November 2020
Improving furniture comfort and sustainability with advanced materials
Sales Director of Specialty Industries
Lydia Swan is sales director of specialty industries at Envalior. With more than 20 years of experience, she leads sales and engineering teams by setting strategies and focusing on key market segments. As a leader, Lydia focuses on developing everyone on the team to ensure they are successful. Her career is marked by promotions and recognition of leadership in developing sales and marketing solutions that exceed customer expectations. Lydia has degrees in finance and accounting from Edith Cowen University, Australia. In her spare time, she has volunteered as a Big Sister mentor to mentor a “little sister” and help her become the best person she can be.
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