COMMERCIAL FLOORING | Netherlands


ARCHITECTURE AND ART

MANUFACTURING LINOLEUM



Manufacturing linoleum
Mixing, kneading, rolling, aging


Armstrong produces several million square meters of linoleum in Germany’s only linoleum plant in Delmenhorst every year. There are only three of these plants in the entire world. The giant aging chambers, in which long linoleum sheets hang to dry, are impressive. But equally exciting is the production itself in the plant, where the mixing, kneading and rolling takes place.

The main components of linoleum have remained the same to this day: linseed oil, saw dust, limestone, resin and jute. The linseed oil is first boiled down in an oxidation process into linoxyn, a pasty material. This happens while adding drying agents at approx. 80 °C in so-called Bedford drums. The melted resins and linoleum dust from production leftovers are later added.

The finished linoleum cement is pressed into a strand and cut into portion-ready pieces. These are evenly mixed with the cork and saw dust, limestone powder and colour dyes and then kneaded. The quality of the future covering primarily depends on the careful mixing of the components. After several runs in single and twin screw mixers, a homogenous mass finally emerges.

Dosing machines pour this fine, crumbly mass of linoleum onto the jute substrate in front of giant rollers. The roller pairs turning in opposite directions press the mass onto the jute, which binds both materials tightly together. In this way, linoleum is made into sheets up to 30 meters long.

The linoleum sheets are hung to age in giant aging chambers, which can be up to 15 meters high. In two to four weeks and thanks to a regulated warming treatment, the linoleum sheets age and strengthen. A huge warehouse ultimately stores countless rolls of linoleum and is automatically administered by a digital storage system. So Armstrong always knows where to find the desired pattern in the special colour among thousands of rolls.

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