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“SMOG-ABSORBING” FLOORS: ITALIAN INNOVATION, BY D’ASCENZI PAVIMENTI
The formula against the crisis is simple: to aim towards innovation. This is the principle of the company D’Ascenzi Pavimenti, producer of internal, outdoor, and street furniture flooring, which has decided to point towards technological research, focusing on highly innovative products that have a low environmental impact. In particular, ecological interlocking flooring that are able to convert city smog into clean air and interlocking drain flooring that remain puddle-free and facilitate the natural cycle of this important resource.
The “smog-absorbing bricks” are in fact photo-catalytic: thanks to their collaboration with the CTG (The Technical Centre of the Group) of Italcementi, D’Ascenzi Pavimenti have produced a particular cement composition realised with the ecological “self-cleaning” cement Tx Millennium (patented by Italcementi), which conforms with the requisites of the EN197/1 norms on common cement. In detail, photo-catalysis is a natural phenomenon in which a substance exposed to sunlight (or the ultraviolet rays in tunnels), modifies the speed of a chemical reaction. By exploiting the energy, it induces the formation of oxidising agents that are able to break down many of the polluting substances present in the atmosphere. The titanium dioxide acts as a photo-catalyst and allows oxidisation without consumption of the product which therefore remains an inexhaustible source of abatement of pollution levels in urban centres and areas of high traffic density. According to research and tests carried out, the quantity of polluting substances abated with the use of photo-catalytic products is quite significant.
The company has however also focused its research on another sector which is that of people with special needs. D’Ascenzi in fact manufactures a specific line of tactile flooring for the blind that intends to go beyond the concept of architectural barrier and thus increase accessibility to areas and places for the blind or for the visually impaired without attendants. The floorings have been studied to facilitate the movement of blind persons, building veritable sensorial paths which can assure orientation and safety and which are aimed for urban environments such as train stations, undergrounds, public transport shelters and hospitals. In practice, the elements that make up the flooring are equipped with reliefs and grooves with apposite spacing and forms constituting a specific language that allows the blind to perceive and recognise a path through their sense of touch. The paths can be made up by elements that indicate dangers, obstacles, stop lines and changes of direction.
Innovative products therefore, for a company which originally just produced floorings for the interior and which has gradually characterized itself for its originality and the importance it gives to research. With three establishments and a turnover of around five million euro a year, the company has also patented brick production machinery, further proof of its aptitude for innovation and research.