FuranFlex® – Can not be copied
Source: Innotéka – Nem másolható
The 2016 Innovation Award of the National Intellectual Property Department was granted to Kompozitor Műanyagipari Fejlesztő Kft. for the development and trade of the FuranFlex® high heat and corrosion-resistance flexible composite liner tube system. Mr. Géza Kecskeméthy, the company’s managing director – whose name has featured almost a hundred inventions – talked to our magazine about the unique characteristics of the product and the new directions of their research activities.
From the left, Mr. Zsolt Szépvölgyi, company commercial director and Mr. Géza Kecskeméthy managing director; beside: József Pálinkás
NKFIH Chairman and Viktor Łuszcz President of the National Intellectual Property Department as deliverers of the award
What is the secret that makes FuranFlex® a success?
–FuranFlex® is a globally individual process, with which any chimneys first of all or ventilation ducts of any shape, dimension and length may be lined with a liner tube of steel strength, resistant to corrosion, flame and heat without the need to demolish any walls and that of any joints and extensions to be applied. In practical applications, it all means that the FuranFlex® liner tube is drawn in the chimney in its soft state, and then, by the effect of being inflated by steam, it takes the shape of the chimney duct and hardens irreversibly. Therefore, it creates a fibre-glass composite liner of steel strength and resistance to corrosion and heat. FuranFlex® is reinforced with fibre-glass and is a heat-convertible plastic as it is made from a so-called composite material. I specifically developed resin-composition provides high heat, flame and corrosion resistance. Any metal chimney liners generally used at modern chimneys corrode sooner or later and they are to be replaced after every ten years in average. However, if installed and operated in a competent manner, FuranFlex® can be used for an indefinite period of time, whereas for corrosion, it comes with 25 years of warranty provided.
FuranFlex® installation model
Out of Hungary, where else is your product applied?
– The liner tubes are now applied in 34 countries world-wide, they can be found among others, in Stefánia Palace of Budapest, in the British Parliament and in the Russian Szmolnij-Cathedral monument building. In Europe, 600 thousand chimneys have been equipped with liner tubes in 5,000 km of length. FuranFlex® is a trade name protected and patented system, which has been inspected by various institutes and laboratories of Europe and the USA – all with positive findings. The system has obtained all necessary licences in Europe (ETA, CE marking) and in North-America (UL Listed), and, it also has due local authority licences in many other countries. The professionals of the installing companies working with the FuranFlex® system are requested to take part in a specific training in order to be licensed for implementation works. The largest countries as customers include Italy, England, Sweden, Belgium and France. The production of the system is carried in Kompozitor’s plant in Vecsés, Hungary; the process is run mainly on production machinery of our own design and the products are shipped directly from there to the various countries concerned.
Has FuranFlex® ever been tried to be copied or falsed?
– No really serious competitor challenges our position in any other country of the world. There have been attempts, of course to copy the technology but, thanks to the complexity of the resin mixture and the refined process we apply, the products of the fake processes did not meet the specific requirements of the application, therefore, none of them obtained installation licence or could just achieve worse class qualification. FuranFlex® has been to date considered as a unique system regarding its technical parameters and success. Our development has been awarded several high-ranking professional awards and prizes mainly at international fairs and exhibitions. Such events include the Paris International Innovation Palm-award or the Brussels Inventions World Fair’s Special Gold Medal. The highest –ranking Hungarian awards so far is the Genius Europe Grand Prize, which was awarded in 2004.
A great result of last year is the application of FuranFlex® started up in buildings of the USA; we mainly ship 60-80 metres long and large diameter lining tubes to that area. The sales revenues from the product our company developed show a dynamic and constantly growing tendency as it doubled in the past five years. Our hope is that this year’s Innovation Award could give an extra push to the further spread of FuranFlex® chimney liner tube. The extent of the market success and business results makes it possible for us to employ 16 development engineers as well as the continuous development and innovation.
The developers’ team currently work on the prototype of a new chimney liner tube. This process may be speeded up by the fact that the innovation has been supported by the National Research, Development and Innovations Department through a tender. What can be revealed about the features of the new product?
– The planned new development has been designed on the basis of the already successful FuranFlex® technology aiming to create a chimney lining composite with and increased heat-resistance. The so-called HHR (High Heat Resistance) trademarked new product will be suitable for lining the chimneys of coal burning furnaces or furnaces exposed to higher heat load in both wet and dry operation modes as well. Currently, there is no chimney lining technology on the market, which could stand the heavy conditions sourcing from the characteristics of burring with solid fuel long and safely and also at a favourable price and with easy installation. The newly developed composite FuranFlex® HHR chimney liner will be able to bear the surplus heat load and aggressive condensation, which feature such heating technologies; further, it does not contain boron compound as fire-retardant, which, as a raw material, is aimed to be more and more avoided.
Kompozitor Kft’s latest development: FuranFlex® HHR sample
Therefore the product to be developed represents novelty in two essential fields. One is environment protection. It is important that during the production and installation of the product the minimum amount of waste should be generated and that the product should not contain any fire-retardant compound harmful to the environment. The other respected field represents the high corrosion, heat and flame-resistance, which ensures that the product is enduring in the chimney and that is protects the property and human life even in case of chimney fire. According to our expectations, the development will be introduced to the market in the second half of 2017 in Hungary and in parallel the announcement of an international patent in Hungarian ownership is also expected. The innovation represents significant amount of added intellectual value since the composite resin product will be a completely new construction to be entirely realised on the knowledge base of Kompozitor Kft.