According to the President of the European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF), Ludger Schindler, European laminate is considered high-end because it is high-tech. He also said that the market is set to see even more innovations and trends this year.

“The great strength of European laminate flooring producers and their suppliers lies in their consistent use of leading design ideas and innovative technology for the development of extremely attractive and better quality products. In 2017, Europe will once again be setting the trends for the laminate flooring sector.”

Rising global sales figures have kept EPLF members confident in 2017. At the exhibition, Ludger also presented EPLF’s new “Innovation Drive” and announced a corresponding Association Manifesto for the Members’ Meeting in May.

“The EPLF operates as an association of innovators, leading the way towards the innovations of tomorrow, and we provide the ideal platform for implementing the necessary quality standards for improved laminate around the world,” said Ludger.

One of the recent technologically advanced projects that EPLF experts have embarked on is called “Deeply-textured Surfaces”. In conjunction with IHD (the Wood Technology Institute in Dresden), new test methods that are appropriate for standardisation for testing abrasion resistance, impact strength and polishing characteristics of laminate flooring are being researched. The findings of this research will also provide a valuable foundation for enhancing production technologies specifically for textured laminate surfaces.

Research results have been made available through the publication of three IHD works standards: Works Standard IHD-W-479 “Determination of abrasion resistance of laminate floor coverings”, Works Standard IHD-W-425 “Determination of impact strength of laminate floor coverings using a small ball” and Works Standard IHD-W-475 “Determination of resistance to polishing of laminate flooring”. These documents can be obtained free of charge from the IHD on request.

The “castor chair test” is a new EU-funded Association project that the EPLF has started to work on. In collaboration with the IHD, a test method is to be developed by the summer of 2019 that uses an appropriate test device suitable for both loose-laid floor coverings with a variety of locking profiles and glued floor coverings. It is important to note that underlay materials will be taken into account here. Experts have agreed that a new method for the castor chair test is needed as the current method has been used for the past 50 years.

“The continued success of laminate is founded on continuous innovation – and international quality and test standards must keep pace with this,” said Eberhard Herrmann, Chairman of the EPLF Technical Group.

“We are actively leading the way with our research and are committed to developing up-to-date, practical solutions. Ultimately, we want future consumers to be reassured that they will only get products with reliably tested characteristics,” concludes Eberhard.

For more information, visit www.eplf.com, to whom full thanks and acknowledgement are given.