If not properly cared for, mats can develop issues like rippling or distortion, which affect both their appearance and functionality. Let's explore the common causes of rippled or distorted mats and provide solutions to prevent and address these issues.
One of the primary reasons for rippled or distorted mats is exposure to high temperatures. This can occur during washing or over-drying. High temperatures cause the carpet on the mat to shrink, leading to distorted or rippled edges. This issue is often a result of the rubber backing's inability to support the tension created by yarn shrinkage. To avoid this problem, ensure that your mats are not exposed to excessively high temperatures during cleaning and drying processes.
Excessive Extraction Pressure:
Another factor that can lead to stretched and damaged mats is excessive extraction pressure during cleaning. Centrifugal extraction with high G forces can stretch and damage mats, causing rippling. To prevent this, consult with M+A Matting or your equipment supplier to ensure that proper extraction pressures are used. Finding the right balance is crucial to maintain the integrity of your mats.
Stretching of Mats:
Mats, especially runners, are prone to stretching when they are removed from washers and dryers. Employees should avoid pulling on the borders of mats when unloading tangled mats. Instead, handle them gently to prevent unnecessary stretching, which can lead to distortions and ripples.
Exposure to Strong Solvents and Petrochemicals:
Certain chemicals, such as strong solvents and petrochemicals, can cause the rubber in mats to swell. This chemical reaction can lead to ripples along the mat's borders. To prevent this issue, be cautious about exposing your mats to harmful chemicals and ensure proper cleaning techniques are used. If spills occur, clean them promptly with materials suitable for your mat type.
Allowing Mats to Cool in an Unfolded Position:
Mats that cool in a wrinkled or folded state will often retain those imperfections. This is because the "heat set" stays in the mat. To resolve this problem, ensure that mats are laid flat as they cool. If you notice any ripples, you can usually address them by heating the mats to normal drying temperatures and laying them flat again.
Taking these preventive measures can help you maintain the integrity and appearance of your mats. Regular maintenance, proper handling, and avoiding the common causes of rippled or distorted mats can extend the lifespan of your matting investments. If you have any concerns about mat care or are experiencing mat-related issues, don't hesitate to consult with experts at M+A Matting or your equipment supplier for guidance tailored to your specific needs.