“PVC composite fabrics are fantastic performers but they do have a reputation for being complex and expensive to recycle,” says John Wright, MD of Melbourne-based large format printing media supplier Rojo Pacific, which will feature the new PVC-free Kavalan range at PrintEx19.
|Kavalan Butterfly, a two-sided banner fabric|
Wright says it was a couple of years ago that he started to notice a surge in the number of enquiries his company was receiving about eco-friendly materials which could be used as an alternative to PVC coated fabrics and vinyls.
|John Wright, MD Rojo Pacific|
“PVC composite fabrics are fantastic performers, but they do have a reputation for being complex and expensive to recycle,” Wright says. “The properties of PVC are simply not necessary for every application.”
While not quite as durable as PVC for heavy duty or outdoor use, Kavalan - from international specialist textile manufacturer, TAYA Canvas - provides an ideal alternative for indoor or sheltered applications, interchangeable graphics for marketing campaigns, or shorter-term outdoor use – and can then be recycled after use.
The Kavalan range, launched at FESPA 2017, replaces PVC film coating with a unique, eco-friendly corn starch coating to create a reliable print-receptive layer.
“Kavalan is lightweight, totally PVC and phthalate-free, biodegradable and 100% ‘clean and green’,” Wright says. “These materials can be used with UV, Latex or dye-sublimation inks for outstanding print quality and then, at the end of their useful life, they can be recycled without the use of solvents. Disposal is easy on the environment too – Kavalan can be incinerated without releasing harmful chemicals – in fact, we know of companies that are putting it into their ‘waste-to-energy’ stream – and if it goes into landfill, its water-based PA coating is fully biodegradable.”
With the launch of the Kavalan range at PrintEx19, Wright says he’ll be the first in Australia to provide print, sign and display businesses with a high quality, cost-effective and completely PVC-free alternative for everything from banners and flags, to backlit panels, wall and even window graphics.
Rojo is bringing five of the Kavalan products to PrintEx.
Sunlight is a grey-backed semi-block-out, weldable material for front-lit signage including banners, roll-up displays, display frame systems and exhibition graphics. It can be printed with direct or transfer dye-sublimation, UV or Latex printers and comes in widths up to 5m.
Moonlight is a 200gsm coated fabric for backlit applications like lightboxes or banners, Butterfly is a two-sided banner fabric with a block-out core for high-impact double-sided banners and roll-up displays, and Gecko is a high-end fabric for wall or ceiling applications. All share a common maximum width of 5m and have been designed for large format digital UV and Latex printing.
Completing the range is Spiderweb, a 300gsm mesh banner material, which is ideal for window signage. It can also be printed with UV or LX inks, and has a maximum width of 3.2m.
“We’ve been working with TAYA for 15 years as their exclusive Australian agent for signage and industrial grades of PVC coated polyester fabrics and other specialised textiles, so we know them well and understand the quality of their R&D, their innovation and their manufacturing processes,” Wright says.
Kavalan will complement conventional products in the company’s ROFAB and ROTEX ranges and reflects Rojo's commitment to innovation and sustainability.
“We are a family company and we are absolutely dedicated to doing what we can to safeguard the future by incorporating life cycle thinking into every aspect of our daily business activities,” says Wright. “So, when we are sourcing new products, we are not just looking for higher quality materials that deliver better performance and reliability, but also for sustainability. Kavalan answers those criteria.”
Kavalan will be showcased by Rojo Pacific on the Kavalan stand, Stand L20, at PrintEx19, at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park from 13-16 August. The full range is available through Rojo Pacific and its distributors throughout Australia.
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