Award Winning Polypropylene Flux Chair

The Flux Chair, which has won the New Venture Award, the Philips Innovation Award and the Grand Designs Product of the Year Award, combines design excellence with environmental responsibility. Because the chair folds flat, it can be efficiently transported in bulk – helping to reduce carbon emissions and fuel consumption.

The award-winning foldable, portable Flux® Chair, which has taken the design world by storm, bases its simplicity on a single-part, single-material approach made possible by SABIC polypropylene (PP). Flux Furniture B.V. selected the SABIC® PP PHC series of impact block copolymers to mold the complex, hinged part – inspired by origami – that unfolds from a flat package into an iconic yet highly practical chair. This high-performance material not only meets the demanding usability and aesthetic requirements of the Flux Chair, but also supports its environmental goals through easy recyclability and weight reduction.

The SABIC® PP PHC series of impact block copolymers, featuring high impact strength, high stiffness and good flow, were the solution to a dilemma: how to produce a chair that combines flexibility for easy folding/unfolding, excellent strength (supporting up to 140 kg/300 lbs) and stiffness for stability. The materials offer an ideal blend of properties that allow thin hinges to be incorporated into the thicker, rigid chair body. Other attributes of the SABIC resin include custom colorability and an excellent surface finish for luxurious aesthetics.

According to Douwe Jacobs, co-founder and lead designer for Flux Furniture, “SABIC polypropylene helped to make our complicated product look simple. This material was the most important factor in the successful commercialization of our design. Also, the local assistance that SABIC provided was invaluable. Not only did the SABIC representative personally deliver trial samples the next day, but a technical expert worked with our injection molder to optimize the tool and processing parameters for this very large and tricky part. Based on the success of the original Flux Chair, we are creating a child’s version that also uses SABIC polypropylene.”

“It was a great experience for us to work with an innovative design team on this award-winning chair, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with Flux,” said Paul Wanrooij, Technical Marketing Engineer SABIC. “The Flux Chair epitomizes the creative use of our polypropylene technology and shows what can be achieved with a single, versatile plastic. SABIC continues to develop its SABIC® PP PHC block copolymer series so that customers like Flux can find solutions to their most challenging projects.”

Image: The sleek Flux® Chair by SABIC (Photos SABIC, PR031)

About SABIC in Europe
In Europe SABIC has 12 world-scale production facilities which manufacture polyethylenes, polypropylenes, engineering thermoplastics and chemical products. An extensive network of local sales offices and logistical hubs are responsible for sales of these products as well as those manufactured elsewhere in the world. In addition SABIC has three research facilities based in the region, which form part of its global Technology and Innovation organization.
SABIC employs approximately 6000 people in Europe.

About Flux Furniture B.V.
Designers Douwe Jacobs & Tom Schouten, having graduated in 2008 from the TU Delft, The Netherlands, won in 2009 both the New Venture entrepreneurs competition and the Philips Innovation Award. The Flux Chair is the fruition of Douwe Jacobs’ graduation project. In search of inspiration for a line of folding furniture, he became fascinated by the art of paper folding. Driven by the possibility of creating elegant shapes with curved fold lines and a single flat sheet, the miniature scale models quickly found the chair’s unique form. Together with fellow student Tom Schouten, Douwe formed the company Flux Furniture. This partnership enabled them to realise a production ready and patented product from the first folded paper designs. As of November 1st 2010 Flux Furniture will be located in Marcel Wanders’ Westerhuis, Amsterdam.

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