The Polyfloss Factory is a collaborative project by Emile De Visscher, Christophe Machet, Audrey Gaulard and Nick Paget
The Polyfloss factory is a company that processes plastic waste, typically polypropylene, into a new raw material we call Polyfloss. Polyfloss allows us to design and manufacture new plastic products without expensive or complicated manufacturing techniques such as injection molding. These products have unique properties, most notably thermal or acoustic insulation and the ability to be a multi-structured.
The way we achieve these characteristics and new products is our innovative production method which transforms waste plastic (typically polypropylene) in a process inspired by the principles of a candy floss machine.
Polyfloss is unique in three main areas:
Firstly the material can be controlled to achieve multiple properties. For example an insulation block can have a smooth airtight hard skin, with a fluffy, soft inner core. We call this “structural diversity” and allows us to make products that would usually require composite materials, which are typically difficult to recycle.
The second unique characteristic comes from the way it is made. Our Polyfloss machine heats and spins waste plastic into a candyfloss-like material. The material has a natural flexibility and is able to self expand. Because of this we don’t need to use costly/wasteful injection mold tools, which are typically used in plastic production. Instead we are able to create inexpensive, easy to manufacture molds, such a ceramic or sheet metal, because the material naturally expands it doesn’t require high levels of heat and pressure. Using inexpensive molds also allows us to make new products or customize products quickly and inexpensively, and allows us to do fast turn-around small batch production.
Lastly, Polyfloss is unique in its aesthetic. Because we are able to control the material and create different properties in one piece, the material has a unique look. The process typically uses waste polypropylene, which is often brilliantly colored. Therefore our products are often diverse in color and texture, making them visually engaging and exciting. And don’t have the usual unattractive recycled aesthetic. This unique look is great for branding our products and making them recognizable, but it also inspires us to find new applications for the future, from filtration, to packaging, or even domestic products. Polyfloss can be compatible with velcro and provides a great soil-less environment for plants to grow in, these have great future potentials which we would one day like to explore.
Text and photos courtesy by The Polyfloss Team