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Alkemi

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Contents

Material analysis

MasterFormat Number: 09 30 00


Definition

  • Award winning ALKEMI is a SCS certified, LEED credits receiving, recycled surface composite material made of a polyester base with soft alloy aluminum scrap flake filler. (35% by weight—as certified—or 60% by volume). Because it is made with aluminum scrap, which commonly burns up as a heavy smoke pollutant when exposed to conventional aluminum recycling— Alkemi leaves no hazardous footprint.

Available in a variety of colors and surface treatments (Textured & Classic and Honed), ALKEMI may be fabricated and installed using standard solid surface fabrication methods. Strong, durable and exquisite to the eye, ALKEMI offers a brilliant, sustainable alternative to the stagnant commercial options, such as solid surface, plastic laminate, stone and glass.

Agean 20-t.jpg Luxor t.jpg Rootbeer.jpg

Traditional uses

  • Surface tops for kitchen, reception, restaurants, offices, lounges etc.
  • Recommneded for horizontal and verticle decorative surface treatments.

Emerging uses / trends

  • Most of the current line is cast in polyester resin, but they are developing a new version with recycled and recyclable acrylics [1]

Finish and aesthetic qualities

  • Finish Options: Textured or Honed - Enabling seaming and sanding
  • The resin that creates the base for the Alkemi kitchen countertop can be produced in a variety of different colors. The colors available for the resin of the countertop include blue, green, brown, and clear and each of the colors are subtle enough to allow the gleam of the metal shavings embedded inside to shine through. The brown colored resin makes the metal shavings locked inside look like copper coils.

Surface forms / shapes

  • Custom Options: Size, shape, thickness, color, surface and edge treatment

Cost analysis

$40 - $260/36"x96"

  • Cost depends on the color, thickness and texture

Material properties

Primary structural use

  • not for structural use

Material performance

  • Strong and Durable - it will only scratch if misused. If a scratch occurs, it can be sanded to correct it.
  • Stain Resistant
  • Not recommended for flooring, outdoor use or use where it may come into contact with acids.
  • It is not resistent to high levels of heat, so hot items should not be placed directly on the surface.

Dimensional and opening restriction

  • Thickness - 1/2" and 3/4"
  • Sheet dimensions - 36" x 120" and 36" x 96"


Manufacturing process and assembly

  • The Alkemi countertop is made of mainly two materials. The first is aluminum scrap. The aluminum scrap collected is post industrial and not post consumer because processing post industrial aluminum scrap consumes less time and energy. The collection of the post industrial aluminum in fabricating the Alkemi countertop diverts the scrap aluminum from entering the waste stream where aluminum is typically burned while emitting pollutants.

The other material that makes up an Alkemi countertop is polymeric resin. This resin is made of polyester and is normally sourced from resin manufacturers. The polymeric resin is used to bind the aluminum scrap to form a solid countertop surface. Polymeric resin is widely used in the eyeglass industry and there is hope in the future that the polymeric resin used in Alkemi countertops could be from recycled sources as well. Since resin are toxic, especially when it is in liquid state, Alkemi ensures that the resin dust that are produced from sanding the countertops are re-captured and re-circulated into the formula to form one of the opaque resins in the Alkemi countertop line.

  • Installation of the product is similar to most other solid surface materials meaning that it can be cut and shaped using ‘conventional woodworking machinery’ such as saws, routers and CNC machines. The manufacturer recommends that Classic and Honed finishes can be sanded and joined seamlessly, whereas Textured must be cut and glued which leaves a small joint visible. [2]

Environmental Impact

  • Renewable Sources ALKEMI does not claim to contain renewable sources. However, ALKEMI products can be recycled by Renewed Materials, to be used as filler for opaque Solid Surface Materials. This process is done by granulating, or pulverizing, and is currently used in the production of ALKEMI - Opaque collection of products.
  • Locally Extracted ALKEMI is produced in Baltimore, Maryland, and is made with post-industrial scrap that is generated by other industries located within the immediate geographic vicinity of its plant.
  • VOC content ALKEMI does not have significant measurable VOC content. Independent laboratory test have revealed that the VOC parts of ALKEMI were less than 100 parts per Million. [3]
  • It is LEED and SCS (Scientific Certification System) certified material

We need your help! The information regarding LEED qualifications for this material is still needed. Sign in and click the edit link above to add specific LEED credit and point qualifications to this material.


Life Safety & Ratings

Coefficient of friction

  • Surface can be smooth or textured, as desired

References

Notes

  1. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/05/alkemi-recycled-aluminum-in-countertops.php
  2. http://greenlineblog.com/alkemi-recycled-surface-material-sustainable-to-the-recycled-core/
  3. http://www.renewedmaterials.com/green/accreditation-leed.html

[1] Alkemi.com

Student contributions

  • Brinda Toprani, Spring 2009
  • Sarah Smith, Spring 2010

See also

Similar materials

Building references

  • 2 Lads Winery - Traverse City, MI

2 lads hor pg1.jpg

  • iStar Financial - New York, New York

Istar.jpg

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