Case story: Turn-key process line for Cradle to Cradle® carpet tiles
°Celsius Screw Heat Exchangers
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Turn-key process line for Cradle to Cradle® carpet tiles

The leading European carpet manufacturer DESSO from Waalwijk is the first carpet manufacturer in Europe, to design and produce according to the Cradle to Cradle® principle. °Celsius from Drunen has engineered and supplied a completely new carpet line for this. This will be operational in early May 2010 and used alongside the existing production line for regular carpet tiles.

The Cradle to Cradle® principle

The urgent need to protect the vulnerable welfare of our planet is supported by nearly everyone nowadays. DESSO is also embracing the Cradle to Cradle® philosophy. This philosophy assumes a production design that produces products that are absolutely safe for human beings and completely waste-free. Waste-free products are biodegradable or can be completely recycled as a raw material for new products. Absolutely safe means that all the ingredients are known and stringently tested for 19 aspects of safety for human beings and the environment. The Cradle to Cradle® process looks at the sustainable generation of energy and the waste of new raw materials. Sustainability is one of the core values of DESSO. For example waste separation, recycling, energy saving and water treatment have for many years already been fixed features of the production process.

The Cradle to Cradle® process at DESSO

DESSO aims by 2020 to produce entirely according to the Cradle to Cradle® principle. The whole supply chain must be adapted for this. Also all the raw materials must be positively defined. This is done by the scientific institute of Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart: EPEA, the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency.

The backing rug of the regular carpet tile consists of limestone flour and bitumen. Since bitumen is difficult to recycle, DESSO had to look for a good alternative for this. They found this in the 'polyolefin' polymer. To develop a completely new Cradle to Cradle® production line to make the backing rug, DESSO found a partner in °Celsius. In the past °Celsius has supplied a limestone flour heater for the backing rug with bitumen. Now °Celsius will supply the complete engineering for the new Cradle to Cradle® production of the backing rug.

The limestone flour heater heats the limestone flour to 140 degrees °Celsius and the plastic granules are melted in a big heated tank. The plastic granules are pumped to a fully continuous mixer in molten form. In the mixer the heated limestone flour is added. Both are mixed together into a homogenous mass at a temperature of 140 degrees. Using a heated screw the mass is transported to the carpet line to apply the backing of the carpet tiles. The capacity of the complete line, that is the chalk heater, melting tank and the heated screw conveyors, is 6500 kg/hour. A thermal oil circuit heats the complete installation.

°Celsius provides full service

Apart from screw conveyor heat exchangers, °Celsius is also supplying the pump, the piping system and the control system. °Celsius is providing full service for DESSO and in addition to the complete engineering is also undertaking the erection, testing and start-up. The new production line is installed alongside the existing line while the production of the carpet tiles will continue as usual. The existing production line can only be shut down for a few days. Because of the careful preparation and fast approach of °Celsius, DESSO will in the near future be able to produce both regular carpet tiles with bitumen and the Cradle to Cradle® carpet tiles with polyolefin.


DESSO has been supplying quality for almost 80 years already and in that time has built up an excellent reputation as a producer of high quality carpet tiles and broadloom carpet. DESSO has four factories in Europe, two big distribution centres, as well as specialist centres for customer service in most European countries, the United States, Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Australia.

The innovation strategy of DESSO concentrates on three main areas: Creativity, Functionality and Cradle to Cradle. By entering into a cooperation agreement with the EPEA (Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency) in Hamburg DESSO has become the first carpet manufacturer within the EMEA region to work according to the Cradle to Cradle principle. This marks the radical decision of DESSO to go further than "ordinary" sustainability in the production of carpets and artificial turf.

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