February 10, 2009
Sandvik Decorex™, produced by Sandvik Materials Technology in Sandviken, Sweden, has won a Materialica Design + Technology Award for 2008, presented at the Materialica Trade Fair in Munich, Germany.
The award is given to emphasize the importance of materials for industrial design-oriented applications; to encourage a dialogue between designers and manufacturers; and to promote new ways of combining cutting-edge materials, technical precision, and excellent design for industrial and consumer goods, the company reports.
In making the award, the independent, seven-member panel said, "The material is a band steel that combines the technical properties of stainless steel with a color coating resistant to fingerprints. It is harder, more elastic, and more flexible than aluminum. It is scratchproof and weldable, and can be cut, etched, and engraved with a laser. It allows for the experimental design of cameras, mobile phones, and interior design objects."
The material's production process is based on nanotechnology, with color added to the stainless strip by a vacuum process. This fully integrates with the surface of the strip, resulting in a durable color layer of less than 1 micron.
The process generates no water, air pollution, or toxic residues and consumes one-third of the energy required for electroplating. Close control of the production processes allows for tight flatness and color layer tolerances, the company states.