Sustainable to the core
WICONA demonstrates its focus on ecology and sustainability within new product development: by using thermal insulation strips made from recycled polyamide, significantly reducing CO2 emissions in the manufacture of aluminium windows and doors.
WICONA is the first aluminium system supplier in Europe to use "insulbar RE", insulation strips made using recycled polyamide from Ensinger. The new thermal break for profiles of window, façade and door constructions are composed of 100% recycled material. As a result of their use CO2 emissions in the production process drop by 84 per cent. And this, without compromising on quality or increasing prices for WICONA customers. The innovation offers advantages to planners in regard to ecological construction and building certification requirements.
In view of the ever-increasing importance of building certification, especially in the public domain, the new recycled polyamide insulation strip offer planners and architects increased opportunities to satisfy the required environmental standards.
They benefit from the ift Rosenheim Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), in particular, when certifications in accordance with Green Building Labels, such as LEED or DGNB, are required. Such EPDs form the basis of ecological building assessments. The data from individual EPDs can be compared and combined into the "modular system" of a building's environmental performance. By using recycled polyamide insulation strip, the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of a standard window constructed from the WICONA Profile System drops by 10 per cent.
The recycled polyamide comes originally from the automotive industry and is designated as "processing scrap" or New Scrap. This material is processed into poly granules and is enhanced in such a way that, by the end of the process, its material properties are directly comparable with new materials. Polymer blends or mixed recycled materials of unknown origin are not used; likewise, neither silicones nor perflourinated compounds (SVHC) are used in the process. Thus we can talk about unmixed recycled polyamides, used to produce the insulation strip.
A prerequisite for their continuous use in WICONA Aluminium Systems was that the efficiency of this material had to be consistent with the polyamide 6.6, normally used for insulation bars, across all applications. This requirement was 100 per cent satisfied by Ensinger with the thermal break profiles from recycled polyamide suitability tested by ift Rosenheim (Institute for Window Technology) to DIN EN 14024 EPF. Demonstrating the same mechanical and physical properties as conventional insulation bars made from polyamide 6.6.
That genuine innovations are one of WICONA's hallmarks has already been shown in the past, with successful systems that represent a significant improvement for the market and leave a lasting mark in the industry. And so it is this time: With insulation bars made from recycled polyamide, WICONA once more proves its own competence and consistency, with the conscious use of natural resources and an ecological approach incorporated within its business activities. This is also reflected in the figures: By using insulation bars made from recycled polyamide, fossil resource consumption drops by 89%, CO2 emissions by 84% and water consumption by 32%, as per data in the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) compiled by ift Rosenheim.
The use of this new development is progressively being introduced into the entire WICONA product range, and currently already covers more than 50% of the offering. These profiles do not need to be specially ordered by customers, nor does their installation require any special precautions during handling or logistics. The WICONA guarantee also fully covers systems with the new, recycled polyamide insulation bars. Customers can take advantage of this new innovation without any additional cost - and feel a lasting benefit.