Will carpet tile handle the punishment?
It’s all about the fibers
Modification ratio estimates a fiber’s performance by how “round” it is. The rounder the fiber, the lower the modification ratio, the better it performs. The fibers we use have a modification ratio of 1.5 - 2.1, whereas carpet mill extruded Type 6 Nylon has a ratio of as much as 4.7.
How do you know if a fiber is mill extruded vs a true branded fiber?
It’s easy; for starters, mills making their own fibers use their own carpet mill brand names for describing the nylon. Example XYZ Mill Premium Branded Nylon.
What if modification ratio information is missing from a suppliers literature?
You should demand this information from the manufacturer. It is readily available. If they won’t supply the information or claim that modification ratio is not relevant, to your project, you might ask yourself why they would conceal a fact that is readily available from premium branded fiber manufacturers like Universal, Invista and Aquafil.
Here’s a real example of the use of Modification Ratio taken from a flooring specification for a government healthcare project in Indiana:
Face Fiber: 100% Nylon, Premium Branded by Invista, Universal or Aquafil. All fibers must have a modification ratio of 2.5 or less. Fibers extruded by carpet mills will be considered “unbranded” for purposes of this standard.
Passing the Test
We go beyond standard wear testing with our proprietary ART – Appearance Retention Test. ART is the only test of its kind to simulate real world usage for 1 year, 5 years, 10 years or more. We simply won't release a product that doesn't pass our rigid ART standards.
Why do you need premium fibers?
Our ART machine is set to simulate wear, soiling and maintenance in increments of 1, 5, 10 or more years. All Interface styles must pass our rigid 5 year wet and dry ART standards or we won't launch them.
Modification Ratio: A geometrical correlation to appearance and durability and maintenance.
Since fibers are the building blocks of a robust carpet tile, appearance and longevity rely heavily on the quality and shape of the individual fibers. This is the wrong place to cut corners.
Premium branded, solution dyed nylons are key to our ESD carpet's durability and long lasting beauty in mission critical 24/7 spaces. Carpet mill extruded fibers are value engineered for mill profitability and process expedience. In a 24/7 space like a 911 call center, durability is mandatory. The thought of replacing the carpet because it no longer looks good in a 9-1-1 call center is the equivalent of planning a highway shutdown during rush hour in Los Angeles to repair a roadway that was built with fragile concrete.
The Benefits of Premium Fibers
The broad, rounded structure of this low modification ratio fiber will last against wear and resist soil.
Length of fiber viewed before testing with electron scanning microscope: the peaks are much smoother than the higher modification ratio fiber.
Length of fiber viewed after testing: some minor distortion of the fibers can be seen but overall the rounded shape is intact.
High modification ratio fibers have long, fragile lobes that tend to bend and show wear through increased light reflectivity, and they are more likely to trap and hold soil.
Length of fiber viewed before testing with electron scanning microscope: notice the highs and lows of the surface's valleys.
Length of fiber viewed after testing: the fibers have been destroyed; the tall peaks have flattened out and created deep valleys within the surface that trap and hold soil.