ANTECUIR, S.L., in collaboration with AITEX, has developed an R+D project, funded by the CDTI to create a range of next-generation products aimed at improving the performance of upholstery fabrics which comply with the most stringent European standards for intentional burning, slashing and vandalism.
Upholstery fabrics used in public spaces, buildings, buses, hotels and trains are exposed to situations which compromise their durability, as well as representing a significant cost for local authorities and private enterprises. They get dirtier and deteriorate more quickly due to intense use and are damaged by vandals.
In order to minimise accumulation of dirt, a few years ago ANTECUIR, S.L. undertook a research project which resulted in the company’s AQUACLEAN technology. However, damage and tears are problems which have yet to be successfully tackled: current solutions are rigid finishes which are only suitable for specific upholstery fabrics and more flexible treatments are only partially effective. The level of protection afforded the fabric is inversely proportional to the flexibility and comfort of the seating it is applied to.
Existing solutions have sought to find a balance between comfort and safety by employing a three-layer structure:
- External layer: this is the fabric itself, providing appearance, feel and durability but fades over time.
- Intermediate layer: normally includes a non-woven fabric or foam which works in two ways; on the one hand by providing fireproofing to the three-layer structure and on the other by preventing the user from detecting the presence of the final layer which is the vandal-proof component. This is normally metal and differences in densities lead to protrusions underneath the fabric, which are unsightly and uncomfortable without the use of an intermediate foam layer.
- Internal layer: woven metal mesh which provides the vandal-proof element by preventing the sideways movement of a blade, known as rip-stop.