CEINNMAT coordinates a European project within the CIP Eco-Innovation Program under the supervision of the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) belonging to the European Commission.
The project, started in 2013 with an expected duration of 30 months (2016), aims at demonstrating the industrial and commercial feasibility of an innovative technology for the curing of the reinforcement resins in flat Natural Stone products. This technology is based on a fast, robust, and efficient heating generation system, which can achieve significant energy savings and a considerable increase of productivity in the processing plants.
The new technology proposed in the STEP Project is based on the formulation of new thermosetting resins specifically adapted to the new thermal curing process without emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Overall, the new curing technology and the ad-hoc formulated resins are a step forward towards a greater sustainability for companies in the Natural Stone sector thanks to the improvements achieved in comparison with the conventional heating systems which operate by using large gas natural ovens and electrical support systems with infrared light.
The consortium involved in the project has foreseen the market uptake of the new technology by 2015. In addition, the new developed process is modular designed and easily adaptable to the production and space requirements of the processing plants.