Up On introduction

UP ON. The new green polymer blend with high content of polypropylene.

Advantegeous new applications for innovative engineering plastics and conventional polymers in the furniture industry.

Polycarbonate has been finding its most relevant utilization until recent years, in the consumer electronics business (CDs and DVDs, in particu-lar, thanks to its electrical properties), as well as in many hi-tech solutions for the building sector, every time high-quality transparency is nee-ded, together with lightness, combined to an extreme strength of the material; this thanks, on the one side, to its distinctive optical properties (it is clearer than the most part of silica glasses), and, on the other side, to its being much lighter than glass, but at the same time very strong (very high resistance to hits and remarkable attitude at bearing static and dynamic weight pressures, both in the vertical and horizontal direction). n both cases, also the possibility to work on polycarbonate with the technology of gas-injection mouldings has been highly appreciated, if compared to the cheaper and more traditional substitute for glass, that is the acrylic glass (technically speaking methyl methacrylate, or also, commercially speaking, acrylic or plexiglass) which can be only thermoformed.

As for the furniture business, and in particular the chair business, the utilization of polycarbonate has been limited until present time to the very hi-end design products, combining the sparkling surface of polycarbonate with the possibility of innovating design, because of freedom of forms granted by the technology of injection mouldings. The average price of these products has been so far discriminating the most part of common consumers, restricting the possibility to buy only to an elite of innovative customers.

The mission of GRANDSOLEIL is on the contrary to bring polycarbonate at reach of the average consumer, putting this material in competition with the most traditional raw material in the chair business, which is wood. Relying on its production efficiency and quality, due to the state-of-the-art machinery and moulds GRANDSOLEIL is working with, taking advantage of the optical properties, as well as as of the extreme strength of polycarbonate, being also in the condition to choose structures and designs with wide freedom, GRANDSOLEIL can actually make obsolete the traditional distinction between indoor and outdoor chairs, thanks to the versatility allowed by polycarbonate (and by innovative polypropylene-derived compounds), and can sell polycarbonate as a trendy and optically superior alternative for different traditional materials, like wood, giving also – always in comparison to traditional materials - com-parable or superiors results, as for strength, and as for lightness.

The risk of scratching can be significantly reduced, by adopting the right chemical recipe for the polycarbonate, and through su- perficial treatment. Both things are not feasible, for instance, with methacrylate, which always remains very prone to scratching. Being aware of this possibilities, which are in fact triggering the real volumes, GRANDSOLEIL is intentionally orienting its design towards the great and classic tradition of the Italian chairs of the fifties, of the sixties, and of the nineties, mainly made out of wood, providing an updated redefinition of that heritage, at the light of the new possibilities allowed by polycarbonate.

Finally, also in the particular case of simple chairs with metal legs, with seat and backseat entirely made out of thermoformed methacrylate, the efficiency and speed reached by production bring polycarbonate costs down, and significantly closed to the cost level of methacrylate, providing, at the same time, a pro-duct which is, structurally, much stronger, as for the attitude at bearing weight pressures, and in terms of resistance to hits. This because methacrylate, in particular after being thermofor-med and drilled, behaves in a brittle, and sometimes unpredic-table manner, when loaded, especially under an impact force. Beside that, polycarbonate has a higher transparency than me-thacrylate, because methacrylate is not as clear as the silica glasses, and, in particular, in the cristal clear version, shows a background yellow component, which can not be removed.

Anyway, a comparison to methacrylate has necessarily to be restricted to only few examples, because methacrylate can be used only for simple seats and backseats, due to the limitations of the thermoforming process, more than for complete chairs, which is, on the contrary, the true possibility of polycarbonate, thanks to the workability of this material inside injection moul-dings. Polycarbonate is making free the design for chairs.

Last, but not least, the introduction for the UPON chairs, of innovative polypropylene-derived chemical compounds (IGAP registered these materials under the trademark of and ) will give our customers the possibility to rely on chairs with sparkling and hi-glossy surface, perfectly imi-tating, from the point of view of the visual effect, a polycar-bonate surface, in the glossy solid version, but with an entry price point level for the UPON range, very closed to the one of the standard polypropylene chairs. GRANDSOLEIL is step-by-step making this possible also for very light and structurally complex chairs, including, in the near fu-ture, also the chairs with metal chromed legs.

This will be also a breakthrough for the market, due to the high glossy surfaces being at present, and in the medium run, very trendy, especially for young consumers.