Stylish, durable and resource-saving
8 September 2023 – Anyone who wants easy-care PVC-U windows with a wide range of design options has been relying on RENOLIT high-performance films for over 40 years, because they protect the window profiles – with a warranty of up to 20 years.
The introduction of film-laminated window profiles in 1979 marked the beginning of a new era in window design. Until then, vinyl windows looked exactly the same as they did when they were produced: white. There was no possibility of adapting their colour to one's own choice, because over time the colours faded due to the effects of the weather. However, RENOLIT developed a film whose top layer consists of transparent polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). This additional protective layer absorbs UV radiation almost completely – a technical milestone, because it protected both the printed ink of the décors and the coloured PVC base film for the long term. With the laminating film, RENOLIT launched an entire product family: RENOLIT EXOFOL.
Over the years, the first high-performance film, now known worldwide under the brand name RENOLIT EXOFOL MX, has been expanded and improved to include many more colours and decors. The stock collection for this product now includes more than 50 different films.
In 2005, the company launched RENOLIT EXOFOL FX, a multi-layer advanced version of the first high-performance film. In this product, the base film consists of coloured polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), the second film layer of transparent PMMA and an additional third layer of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). This fluoroplastic is a close chemical relative of a substance known to every household in the world – the so-called Teflon coating. This protective coating makes RENOLIT EXOFOL FX resistant to strong UV radiation and high humidity, thereby enabling it to be used in subtropical climates. In addition, the film is easy to clean and dirt-repellent due to its low surface tension.
Then RENOLIT EXOFOL PX, a PVC film especially for use in sun-intensive countries was also introduced into the product range. The PMMA layer contains even more powerful UV absorbers, and the base film is made with a copolymer but without plasticisers. This innovation eliminates plasticiser migration making the film significantly more resistant to weathering – further extending its service life.
A wide range of designs
All ranges in the RENOLIT EXOFOL product family offer a wide range of design options – and have done so for over 40 years. Back then, RENOLIT set new standards in the market with the development of the honey-coloured Golden Oak décor. Its high-quality print image set the benchmark for future décor developments. Today, the décors of RENOLIT EXOFOL PFX Super-Matt represent the latest state-of-the-art, with visual and textural characteristics that are comparable to those of natural wood. This means that there is no longer any need to forego the natural look of a wooden window, even with a PVC-U profile – an important aspect to consider, especially when renovating existing properties.
And the RENOLIT product family also offers a wide range of design options for modern new buildings. Because it is not only wood decors that are now enjoying great popularity, but also muted solid colours such as blue or the trend colour grey. Effect pigments can be used to add further nuances, such as a metallic shimmer, so that the complete RENOLIT EXOFOL stock range collection now includes around 100 different colours and decors.
Long-term testing and innovative techniques
Challenges for film-laminated window profiles are posed above all, by different weather conditions – be it strong UV exposure due to lengthy periods of sunlight or persistently high humidity. All high-performance films in the RENOLIT EXOFOL product family are subjected to long-term tests with artificial weathering corresponding to many years of sunlight and intensive rain showers. In addition, the company tests these products under natural conditions and exposes them to the respective weather conditions at several locations worldwide. External testing institutes, such as the Süddeutsche Kunststoffzentrum (SKZ) in Würzburg, confirm the test results. All RENOLIT EXOFOL films tested at SKZ are allowed to bear the seal of quality according to RAL-GZ 716.
Direct and permanent solar radiation causes heat build-up in plastic window profiles. RENOLIT's answer to this challenge is Solar Shield Technology (SST). To deflect the heat radiation, the company uses the reflective behaviour of colour pigments: In the PVC base film, the pigments reflect the infrared rays, while in the printing inks they are transparent. The degree of radiation reflection determined in accordance with DIN EN 410 forms the basis for the RAL quality mark, which all RENOLIT EXOFOL films bear.
The protective shield function of SST reduces the temperature differences between the outer and inner profile surfaces, protecting the film, adhesive and profile. The temperature reduction has a positive effect on both the service life of the profiles and their dimensional stability. Even under extreme conditions, they do not warp and windows and doors close reliably tight. This provides optimum energy efficiency – a key factor for sustainable new buildings or renovations of existing properties.
Sustainability with repair and recycling
RENOLIT already took a first step towards sustainability three decades ago with its film service for the professional repair of damage to the film surface. At that time, this was an initiative for quality assurance, but today it has developed into a conscious measure for the careful use of resources.
An additional sustainability objective at RENOLIT is a circular economy and the company has voluntarily committed to achieving an internal recycling rate of 100 percent by 2025 by implementing a closed-loop material cycle. The plastic parts of RENOLIT's packaging should also contain 50 percent recycled or renewable raw materials.
The company therefore signed up to the commitment of the Circular Plastics Alliance (CPA): Ten million tonnes of recycled plastic are to be reused in Europe's economy by 2025. Within this framework, the commissioning of further recycling facilities at the Worms site marks an important milestone towards sustainable production processes. The residual materials are already collected separately in production according to plastic type as well as shape, colour and hardness. In the recycling centre, they are processed into fine regrind, granulate or pellets, which are then returned to the production cycle. State-of-the-art recycling technology produces a clean and high-quality recycled material as a substitute for raw materials.
RENOLIT Goes Circular
To achieve these goals and to operate in a circular process in the long term, the company founded the "RENOLIT Goes Circular" initiative in 2018. In it, RENOLIT combines all measures that contribute to closing the material and energy cycle. In order to use resources and energy as efficiently as possible, it is important to keep sustainability in mind at during every step of the production process. The initiative starts at the product design stage: A service life that is as long as possible reduces the CO2 footprint, as it is only necessary to reproduce the product at a later point in time. So longevity is sustainability. Many of the company's products are already recyclable, and in the future a higher proportion of recycled materials will be incorporated into the products through "design for recycling".
The RENOLIT Group is a globally active specialist for high-quality plastic films, sheets and other polymer solutions. With more than thirty production sites and sales units in over twenty countries, and with annual sales of EUR 1.366 billion in fiscal year 2022, the company with headquarters in Worms – around 70 km south of Frankfurt-am-Main – is one of the world’s leading plastic products manufacturers. Around 5,000 employees continue to further develop the knowledge and expertise gained from seventy-five years of business.