In the Spring of 2018, Birgisson, an Icelandic retailer reached out to Välinge Innovation to find a flooring solution for Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport. The plan was to find a sustainable flooring solution for a high traffic public environment. The flooring needed to be durable for a public environment which could withstand heavy foot traffic including passenger luggage carts, transportation vehicles and equipment. Before the pandemic, Keflavik estimated 10 million passengers passed through the airport every year. Their requirements included a highly durable and suitable design with simple maintenance and repair if damage occurs.
By September 2018, a test area (119 square meters) was installed in the corridor leading passengers to and from the terminal. Floors featuring Nadura® surface technology with three different type of surface structures (one with a smooth surface and two with different structured surfaces) and 5G Fold Down were installed. Lacquered hardened wood floors with Woodura® surface technology was also installed along the edges of the installation. Over the next six months, over 4 million passengers passed through the flooring test site.
During the flooring evaluation, from September 2018 to November 2021, Välinge carried out on-site inspections to evaluate the floor's performance and whether it had been subject to any movements or changes. The floor worked well in the tough environment at Keflavik Airport and Birgisson was satisfied with the floor properties, and its appearance throughout the testing process.
In November 2021, the flooring was returned to Välinge’s headquarters in Sweden and deeply inspected to assess any wear or damage to the decorative surface caused by heavy traffic and swelling which could be caused by frequent airport cleaning methods. No damage was found which would prevent the flooring from being installed for this type of high traffic public environment. The 5G Fold Down locking systems also maintained their performance and quality throughout this intensive use and even after being opened and reassembled several times during the on-site evaluation.
“Both Nadura® and Woodura ® surface technologies were successful in this high traffic commercial environment and withstood the wears and stresses caused by over 16 million passengers. Välinge Innovation will continue to conduct additional testing of its surface technologies in such demanding commercial environments in the future” says Hannes Lindblom, Director Sales & Marketing - Surface Technology at Välinge Innovation.
After completion of the evaluation, the flooring was re-installed in the hallway of the main building at Välinge’s headquarters in Sweden where further testing regarding wear and durability are on-going.