Vinyl No More
About two years ago, Momentum Textiles set out on a daunting journey: to create a PVC-free alternative to vinyl and polyurethane. For manufacturers this is no easy task. PVC remains immensely popular for two very compelling reasons: durability and price. “It’s hard to come up with an alternative that can compete in the marketplace and still be as durable,” says Roger Arciniega, CEO of Momentum Group. “So that was our quest.”
The story of Silica—which debuted at NeoCon and was released last month—is one of patient, almost plodding, research and development. “We toyed with different consistencies in small batches and came up with something that was similar to vinyl, but the initial trials were really sticky,” Arciniega explains. After much tweaking, the company found the perfect combination of ingredients, along with a ready and willing raw materials supplier.
The resulting product, a coated fabric, is not only free of PVC and solvents but antibacterial and anti-fungal, as well as UV resistant. “We weren’t looking for all these extra performance features,” Arciniega says. “Our goal was to create an environmentally friendly product.” His company still sells products containing PVC, but he sees the market shifting. “In the future, you will see more and more gravitating [toward alternatives].”
Silica is inherently antifungal and antibacterial, and UV resistant. Stains are easily removed with water, and the textile exceeds standard durability tests.
51 percent silicon, 49 percent PLA (a corn-based polyester)
Health-care, education, hospitality, and corporate environments; both indoor and outdoor use
17811 Fitch St.
Irvine, CA 92614