The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued on Dec. 31, 2014, US Patent No. 8,617,439 assigned to Välinge Innovation AB. The issued patent claiming benefit of applications from 2007 protects a method to recycle floor panels for forming a new layer of recycled material.
The patent includes claims describing a method to recycle floor panels, including cutting the panel into particles, mixing the particles with a binder and pressing under heat the particles with the binder to form a sheet shaped material. The sheet shaped material may be for instance a balancing layer or a surface layer arranged on a core to form a floor panel.
"Today, around 1 billion of square meters of laminate floors are sold and installed each year around the world. It means that the same volumes will have to be replaced in the future. A laminate floor panel is a well defined material and our ambition has been to use this as raw material for future products instead of burning or even sending the waste to landfill" says Niclas Håkansson, CEO at Välinge Innovation.
The patent is a continuation of an application filed on Nov. 13, 2008, which claims benefit of a US provisional application and a Swedish patent application filed on Nov. 19, 2007.