When you hear the word vinyl, the first image that might come to mind is the seats in your parents’ or your own 1970s Oldsmobile (if you are old enough to have lived during that period). That slick material that seared your legs and made them sweat in the summer. The same material that became frigid and stiff in the cold of winter.
It was easy to clean and practical in many other ways, but those memories probably aren’t enough to have you feeling nostalgic for that time gone by. But fast forward to today and progressive manufacturers have done away with that archaic use of the material and are using vinyl in new and alluring ways.
One example is Norix® Furniture’s Hondo Nuevo Series. This line of unique furniture combines superior durability, comfort and style and includes chair, bench and wedge options that allow for flexible, modular seating arrangements.
And its seats are made of vinyl.
So why did Norix® decide to use this material for products that go into heavy- and constant-use environments? Below we list five benefits of vinyl seating.
Unlike commercial-grade lounge chairs made of thin leather or upholstery, the Hondo Nuevo vinyl surface is thick – nearly a quarter inch thick exactly. This makes the surface highly puncture resistant, ensuring that the product doesn’t become an eye sore or rendered useless after a few jabs with a sharp object. In fact, it is puncture resistant to 184 pounds per square inch.
It also meets the stringent ANSI/BIFMA X5.4-2005 furniture standard – dynamic drop tested to a relative impact force of two times BIFMA 5.4 15.4.2 (500 pounds from 18 inches) and a 750 pound static load.
Despite that thick, rugged exterior, the Hondo Nuevo Series has been put through the “squeeze test” at many tradeshows around the country. Many booth visitors have been surprised that the exterior is soft and is comfortable to sit in, while still maintaining the durability features that are mentioned above. It’s rare for intensive-use furniture to provide such highly durable, yet supple characteristics, and it is the vinyl that allows us to manufacture such a product.
Rotomolding is the process of creating one-piece products with no seams or crevices. The process has been around for decades and is used to make kayaks, playground equipment, storage containers and many other items.
So why rotomolding? Since the seat portion is made in one piece, there are no places where debris and fluids can gather. Premium rotomolded materials also can be chemically resistant to body oils and fluids, salt solution and cleaning solutions – adding years to the life of the furniture.
The rotomolding process also can eliminate what would normally be rectilinear shapes and replaces them with smooth contoured surfaces. This creates an element of safety for those using the product and guards against sharp edges in challenging environments.
Lastly, rotomolded products come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can include chairs, tables, beds, shelves and almost all other furniture types. Additionally, some manufacturers of these products add aesthetic touches to the furniture, making them more humanized and appealing to all who use them.
Not all vinyl is GREENGUARD Gold certified like the vinyl used in the production of the Hondo Nuevo Series. But the vinyl that is certified may contribute to healthier indoor environments.
Recognized throughout the world, UL Environment’s GREENGUARD Certification recognizes products with low chemical emissions. In particular, GREENGUARD Certification can help manufacturers create products with low chemical emissions while also giving consumers the knowledge they need when looking for products that meet stringent emissions standards.
Representative samples of products that have achieved certifications through this program have been tested and certified to meet some of the world’s most rigorous, third-party chemical emissions standards—helping reduce indoor air pollution and the risk of chemical exposure while aiding in the creation of healthier indoor environments.
Products that have achieved GREENGUARD Gold Certification can qualify for Indoor Environmental Quality credits within the LEED Rating System. Office furniture products that are GREENGUARD Certified are also compliant with the BIFMA X7.1 standard and BIFMA e3 credit 7.6.1.
Lastly, since Hondo Nuevo – the seat portion, but not the base it is attached to – is made in one piece, the surface is continuous and smooth. And as previously mentioned, the vinyl is nearly a quarter inch thick – all of which makes it impervious to fluids. The fluids, dirt and grime that do manage to make it on the vinyl surface can be easily cleaned off with the proper supplies.
This can add years of life to the furniture, while keeping it aesthetically pleasing. It also will keep your facility staff content since cleaning this kind of vinyl will make their job easier.
The important take away is that not all vinyl furniture is equal. So when making a purchase, take the time to do plenty of research to ensure you are buying the appropriate product for the appropriate application. There is plenty of vinyl furniture on the market that will perform just fine in residential and light-use settings.
But for constant-use settings – such as correctional, healthcare, education and shelter facilities – be sure to ask the manufacturer about durability testing, cleanability, the production process and whether the furniture can contribute to a healthier environment.
In doing so, you will protect your investment, keep the furniture’s users safer and ensure your product lasts for years in your environment.
For more information on our vinyl furniture offerings, visit our Hondo Nuevo webpage.