PERFORMANCE & DURABILITY
Especially in healthcare environments, it is important that a floor can withstand the impact of the day to day traffic of heavy equipment, hospital beds, wheelchairs and thousands of feet. Not only today or tomorrow, but also in the next decades in which your facility operates. Forbo is known for its high quality products, using state of the art technology and processes, leading to: - Excellent performance & durability - High scratch resistance - Very good chemical & stain resistance
SUSTAINABLE MODERN ADVANCED ROBUST TECHNOLOGY
The Sphera collection is treated with a specially developed SMART-top finish. This UV cured PUR-coating ensures Sphera has a high resistance to chemicals, scratches and stains. The surface treatment in combination with the embossing provides an easy to clean solution.
In-line, Sphera has a special UV-cured lacquer applied. After drying the lacquer, the application of an embossing achieves a particularly matt finish, which diffuses light and conceals any minor sub-floor imperfections that may be present. The Forbo engineered process provides a film of lacquer with consistent thickness on both the peaks and in the valleys.
There are many parameters influencing product quality of a homogeneous vinyl. The type of PVC in combination with the SMART-top finish and the process settings are key factors. It is not just the binder content that determines how the floor performs.
The type of PVC (length of the polymer chains) in combination with the process settings (e.g. temperatures of extruders and ovens) are important to the product quality. Forbo’s experienced research and development team has put a lot of effort into the recipe and process development of Sphera.
A binder content of >55% is considered premium homogeneous vinyl, classified as type 1 according to EN-ISO 10581. It is correct that if the binder content gets too low and the filler content gets too high (class II and III products), abrasion resistance can become problematic. For Sphera, Forbo has chosen to focus on development of type 1 binder content only.
There is a perception sometimes that the lightest product in weight is the best, because this is often the product with the highest binder content. The majority of all premium homogeneous vinyl’s is between 2.8 and 3.0kg/m² at 2mm thickness. They have been produced like this for many, many years and have performed well in high traffic environments for a very long time.
So whatever homogeneous vinyl from Forbo you choose, you know that the highest quality standards will be met.
EXCELLENT DURABILITY & HIGH SCRATCH RESISTANCE
The unique combination of the SMART-top finish and the subtle embossing is giving Sphera its superior results in performance.
The newly built manufacturing facility in which the Sphera collections are produced has enabled Forbo to invest in new technologies that offer exceptional quality for end users.
The dimensional stability values are best in class, minimising the risk of tearing at the seams and thus preventing unhygienic situations. Also, the light fastness values of Sphera (≥7) are amongst the highest for vinyl flooring in the industry.
Floor coverings in healthcare environments are often exposed to a wide variety of spills and potential staining coming from a wide range of chemicals. For hygienic and aesthetic reasons, it is important that substances that are likely to end up on the floor do not damage the floor. Sphera’s SMART-top, a UV-cured PUR coating, protects the floor against staining.
Sphera has been tested on a selection of generic and healthcare specific stains according to international standard EN-ISO26987, simulating spillage of substances. Some are used regularly, like Betadine, professional detergents and (hand)disinfectants that are used to ensure a hygienic environment for patient and staff. Commonly used chemicals may vary from country to country.
Some substances like iodine, THF and sulphuric acid will affect all vinyl floors, including the premium products with an advanced surface finish, when left on the floor over a longer period of time. Colourants and chemicals used in medical and biochemical laboratories are very specific. The majority of installations do not require resistance against these type of chemicals. Contact Forbo when advice on specific stains is required.
HYGIENE, SAFETY IN HEALTHCARE
Part of the Sphera collection is specifically designed for the most sensitive environments. Sphera SD | EC provides permanent ESD control and ensures the highest hygienic properties. Sphera Element is also tested for use in cleanroom environments and suitable when electrostatic control is not needed.
Health and hygiene are crucial in healthcare facilities. Sensitive environments where intensive cleaning with aggressive disinfectants is part of the daily business require smart solutions. The conductive surface treatment is stain resistant and withstands widely used decontamination procedures. Also heavy traffic from beds, (motorized) wheelchairs, or equipment is most often daily business. Sphera Element and Sphera SD |EC are the durable, highly stable and indentation resistant solution. Sheet format requires less welding and ensures highest hygiene properties.
A clean and hygienic floor can contribute to the well-being of the patient. Especially areas where patients with fragile health are treated or nursed, a sterile environment is vital. When a floor is carrying microorganisms like fungi or bacteria, there is a potential transferal to other areas like medical devices, clothing or staff and finally to the patient. Special precautions are to be taken to reduce microbiological contamination risks to a minimum.
One of the things to pay attention to is that the materials utilised may not serve as a nutrient for microorganisms. Sphera has been tested according to ISO 846 to evaluate the behavior of the material. Two external institutes WFK and Fraunhofer IPA, show that Sphera does not contribute to the growth of bacteria and fungi.
Ensuring a safe environment is one of the most important concerns for sensitive healthcare environments. Static discharges can be unpleasant for patients and employees and sensitive medical devices can be negatively influenced by static charges. Sphera SD | EC provides a trustworthy conductive flooring solution, effectively protecting the people and equipment against static events.
Sphera Element has been assessed by the Fraunhofer IPA institute on cleanroom suitability.