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Case study

Arfinio® enables safer, more durable shower plates

Covestro and Arcesso Dynamics developed a manufacturing solution using reaction injection molding (RIM) on aliphatic polyurethanes – previously considered impossible. Bathroom furniture manufacturer Estoli supported this technology by designing a lightweight, slip-resistant shower plate based on it – which is now offering new possibilities to consumers.
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Task

Creating a high-end, lightweight, non-slip shower plate

Bathroom furniture manufacturer Estoli was looking for a shower plate with the high-end appearance and performance of conventional solid-surface materials, but with additional features such as a lower weight and improved slip resistance.

“Not only is Arfinio® the first use of RIM on aliphatic polyurethanes, it’s also the first real use of new chemistry and manufacturing technology in the solid-surface world. Arfinio®’s slip-resistant and lightweight properties make it ideal for bathroom furniture, so we look forward to working with our partners on similar projects.”

Joan Miquel García Martinez

Senior Project Manager. Covestro

Challenge

Finding the right lightweight, slip-resistant material

Estoli found that most materials available could not meet these needs. Many required a separate coating to perform well, were too heavy, or did not deliver the extra-high wet slip resistance that Estoli was aiming for.

To overcome this challenge, Estoli decided to use Arfinio®, a manufacturing technology being developed by Covestro and polyurethane manufacturer Arcesso Dynamics. Arfinio® works by adapting the RIM process to aliphatic polyurethanes – previously considered impossible.

Estoli supported the technology by basing the design of its shower plate around Arfinio® and investing in prototyping molds at an early stage of development. It was the first company to do so, and the resulting single-material shower plate is the first item designed for and built with Arfinio®.

“Using Arfinio®, we’re able to offer our customers the look and feel of a luxury solid-surface material, but with better safety, haptics, and weight savings than we could previously achieve. Thanks to these properties, Arfinio® is sure to change how we design not just shower plates, but bathroom furniture in general.”

Josep Estapé

CEO. Estoli

Solution

A slip-resistant shower plate using RIM on aliphatics

Thanks to the patented Arfinio® technology, the shower plate has similar properties to a solid surface, but has improved wet slip resistance and can be made 50% lighter than those using standard solid-surface materials. This reduces the amount of material needed and the risk of safety incidents during installation. Because of Arfinio®’s high thermal coefficient, the plate is warm to the touch, and the Arfinio® formulation can also be supplemented with antibacterial additives on request.

In this way, Arfinio® offers improved safety levels during installation and use, and an improved user experience.

In addition, Arfinio® provides excellent impact and abrasion resistance, enabling a long service lifetime. And, as a monomaterial, the shower plate can be easily repaired and recycled. In this way, the technology enables bathroom furniture manufacturers to reduce their environmental impact.

Find out more about how Arfinio® could take your bathroom furniture to the next level

Discover more about Arfinio®

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Key Benefits

  • Slip-resistant: Excellent wet slip resistance improves user safety
  • Durable & resistant: High abrasion and impact resistance enable a longer-lasting product
  • More sustainable: Arfinio®-based shower plate is longer-lasting, easy to repair, and recyclable
  • Pleasant to use: High thermal coefficient makes the shower plate warm to the touch
  • Lightweight: Can be made 50% lighter than solid-surface equivalents, for safer installation

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