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News

Art at your feet

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 24 March, 2005  (Company News)
The individuality of a decorative floor coating no one else has. One designed by an artist for each individual room. Colorful and without joints or seams. All this is Artwalk
The custom floor coatings are based on two-component polyurethane systems formulated with raw materials from the Bayhydrol® and Bayhydur® or the Desmophen® and Desmodur® product lines from the Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants Business Unit (BU CAS) of Bayer MaterialScience AG.

“The Artwalk® technology offers nearly unlimited visual, functional and design possibilities, as well as individuality,” says Werner Ebert, Construction Materials Marketing Manager at the BU CAS of Bayer Material Science. The leading supplier of polyurethane raw materials has now concluded cooperation agreements for the formulation, design and application of Artwalk® with a total of six companies, from whom end users can procure the decorative floor coverings.

These six Artwalk® co-branding partners of Bayer MaterialScience are headquartered in five European countries, and some of them are active worldwide:
- API, Mignanego, Italy
- Bolidt, Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, The Netherlands
- Boulenger, Paris, France
- Hermeta Chemie, Berlin, Germany
- AB Polymerchemie, Aurich, Germany
- Flowcrete Group plc, Sandbach, Cheshire, UK

Several different Artwalk® exhibits showing the myriad design possibilities of the decorative floor coating will also be on display at the Bayer MaterialScience stand at the European Coatings Show 2005 in Nuremberg, Germany.

Working together with the designer, qualified applicators apply the artistic designs to the floor by seamlessly pouring the liquid casting resin in situ in the desired colors, patterns and motifs. To avoid smearing the colors, they wear spiked shoes when moving across the liquid coating before it sets. In a last step they seal the walkable work of art with a transparent polyurethane sealer. The monolithic floor contains no joints or seams.

And Artwalk® defies the conventional wisdom that beauty is fleeting; polyurethane casting resin coatings are extremely durable in high-load applications. “They have proven their durability over more than 30 years of use in industrial plants, on parking decks, in sports stadiums, gymnasiums and concert halls. These outstanding functional properties are now also being used within the branding concept in association with visually appealing, artistic floors,” says Ebert. Desmodur® or Bayhydur® aliphatic polyisocyanates ensure that the coatings do not fade or yellow. They are also resistant to abrasion, cleaning agents and other chemicals.

Burn marks or heavy scratching as a result of vandalism can be easily repaired by grinding down the surface and applying a fresh coat of transparent polyurethane formulated using waterborne Bayhydrol® or Bayhydur® binders, for example.

According to Ebert, “the combination of artistic design and ultimate functionality makes Artwalk® the perfect floor coating for hotels, restaurants, bistros, shopping centers, discotheques, fitness studios, press centers, concert halls or corporate reception areas.”

Up to 800 square meters of floor covering can be applied in three days and, depending on the ambient temperature and humidity, the floors can be walked on after only 24 hours.

Artwalk® was awarded one of this year’s “AIT Innovation in Architecture and Flooring” prizes at a competition held by the architectural trade journals AIT and Intelligente Architektur in conjunction with the Domotex trade fair. Besides the European Coatings Show, you can also go the Leverkusen State Garden Show 2005 to get an idea of the opportunities presented by Artwalk®. A decorative floor coating measuring 10 by 40 meters in one of the exhibition pavilions shows the topography of the surrounding grounds.
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