- Product range:
- Product features and qualities
- Shapes and finishes
- Sizes / formats
- Ecology and sustainability
- 3D applications – Panespol® LAB
- Regulations and certificates
- Technical specifications
Panespol® high-density polyurethane decorative panels are decor materials developed and manufactured foruse in interior and exterior design projects. Representing practical advantages for use in covering surfaces and in facsimile reproduction of the textures, colours, and finishes of a virtually unlimited spectrum of traditional andimagined construction and architectural materials, their use has become widespread in interiordesign for contract decoration, visual identity for brands and chains, as well as display in retail and commercial spaces.
The company Panespol® is based in Alcoy (Alicante), Spain, having been established in 2001. It is a pioneer in the development of polyurethane patents and its own easy-to-assemble panel system. It has become a regular supplier of design materials for leading multinational business chains, including the world’s largest fashion apparel retailer, Inditex, and the fifth-largest fast food restaurant chain in the world (by number of locations), Burger King.
In addition to meeting orders from its broad catalogue of wall coverings, the firm functions as a bespoke manufacturer of specifically-commissioned 3D design objects using synthetic polymers and a large range of other materials, basing its customer commitment on exclusive and personalised attention, consultation on creative solutions for demanding decoration projects, full logistical support, and constant research and development of cutting-edge technology in decor.
The use of different chemical make-ups of polyurethane in industrial and everyday products dates back to IG Farben scientist Otto Bayer‘s discovery of the polyaddition for the synthesis of polyurethane in 1937. The resulting versatility of such materials lies behind their application in either rigid or flexible forms to extremely diverse purposes: as a substitute for rubber in the 1940s, as synthetic leather soles since the 1950s, as clothing linings and fuel tank protection in space exploration, and as the core of sandwich panels in construction and mechanical engineering projects since the 1980s.
The concept of Panespol® polyurethane decorative panel systems as surface-covering materials emerged with the realisation by the firm’s founder and Director General, José Juan Leva—a former technician and entrepreneur in arts and crafts supplies—that the possibilities and features of traditional decorative coverings made of plaster and other heavy materials could be revolutionised through manufacture with polymers. Not only did this eliminate the issue of working with and transporting weighty materials, but it also solved the problem of waste due to fragility and crumbling. Polyurethane decorative panels are cleaner, more adaptable for painting and adding textures, and a considerable economic saving is achieved through their easier installation in decoration projects that must frequently be carried out in spaces of difficult access and under stringent noise and other regulations.
In the first years of researching such polymer use, Leva developed a lighter and far more resistant polyurethane, one of many formulas patented by Panespol®. Further research also improved the performance of the firm’s polymers in fire and flammability testing, as well in those designed to assure nontoxicity of materials for specific uses.
The first Panespol® systems featuring mural coverings in tough, practical, and clean polyurethane were not long in coming. The company responded to this successful development by expanding its facilities from a small workshop to a large warehouse in a modern estatesurrounded by the required infrastructure of the industrial town of Alcoy (Alicante), Spain. During a period of careful but continual growth, these coverings for internal and external walls were first introduced into the marketplace through the DIY store chain, Leroy Merlin.
In 2008, a specially-commissioned ‘Caravista’ brick wallcovering by Panespol® became a brand-enhancing element of Burger King restaurants throughout Europe. This triggered renewed investment by the Spanish interior design company in facilities, new polymer and decorative formulas, expert staff, and processes to satisfy the demand of retail and ‘contract’ sectors in which constant changes of look, customer allurement, and the need to shorten makeover times set great challenges for any company aiming to become a leading or ‘official’ supplier of surface design.
To meet the high demand of a market future in which public spaces must combat a surge in online shopping and insular, stay-at-home lifestyles by creating differential ambiences and marketable visual hooks and backdrops for windows and interiors, Panespol®‘s experience in working with architects and decorators worldwide led to its creating a bespoke service in 2016 for the creation of 3D objects: Panespol® LAB is a service that allows customers to work together with Panespol® to create any exclusive surface coverings, special finishes, or three-dimensional objects, made to measure and for series production, encompassing manufacture in any colour, shape, size, or texture, incorporating complementary elements such as LED illumination, and using not only polymers but any feasible materials, including the Natural Moss® range or complex wooden structures as a basis for store design elements.
Panel systems employing polyurethane decorative panels can be applied to indoor and outdoor architectural and decor projects, and they are produced with a range of aesthetic finishes oriented to both pubic and domestic spaces. Their function is primarily visual enhancement, while through highly accurate imitations of known natural, urban, industrial, and classic textile surfaces, Panespol® systems exploit the bas-relief effects of low moulding techniques to transmit a potent tactile semblance.
These are among the priority qualities sought by designers and architects, and for this reason these decor panels have been used in an extensive range of store interiors and exteriors, including clothing and sportswear outlets, supermarkets, car showrooms, perfume and cosmetics chains, and many other commercial franchises.
The cleanliness and eco-friendly aspects of the materials make them ideal for restaurants and fast-food chains. The fact that Panespol® systems can be mounted quickly by one person without the need for building expertise or special materials makes them convenient for use in shopping centres in malls, where noise, clutter, and dirt must be kept to a minimum. The possibility of rapid installation of polyurethane decorative panels makes their use in such environments particularly relevant, while their low weight means they may be used on walls at heights where heavier materials might cause damage and lead to costly, time-consuming repairs. Other public spaces commonly using polyurethane decorative panels include offices, hotels, airports, arts centres, civic centres, rail stations, and television and film studios. Speed of assembly and ease of transportation are also benefits supporting their use in film and television production.
Beyond the visual appeal of Panespol® systems as backdrops, interiors benefit from the slight improvements in heat and sound insulation their materials provide.
The regular patterns and contrasts in bare brick or exposed brick walls became a staple decoration option for interior designers in the 20th century. Real brick finishes are usually achieved through time-consuming processes to reach the original construction materials of buildings, and this traditionally involves removal of plaster (with muriatic acid when chipping off proves too laborious), wire-brush cleaning, sealing to trap dust, and adjustments to compensate for loss of sound and heat insulation. Owing to its long evolution as a construction material, brick provides an aesthetic with associations to historical social and architectural periods, ranging from the rustic to modern and even avant garde urban ambiences. In its contrast with many modern wall coatings, it has come to be considered a warm effect in decoration.
Panespol®‘s accurate faux brick polyurethane decorative panels reproduce all visual aspects of the appeal of brick, and the company constantly adds to its range of imitations of brick walls in diverse colours and sizes, all in easy-to-assemble panel systems.
Panespol® BRICKS is a range of polyurethane decorative panels currently divided into 38 different models across 9 product lines. They are popular choices for restaurant and retail franchises. The best-selling models in recent years have been white bricks, a wallcovering that adds luminosity to spaces while boosting a sense of width and lightness. This model is also very much in demand in commercial spaces.
These polyurethane decorative panels in exposed-brick finishes include rustic brick, classic industrial brick, modern industrial brick, simple brick, long brick, rough brick, sophisticated brick, and fire brick or refractory brick, among others.
In addition, exclusive and unique Panespol® BRICKS can be manufactured to the customer’s design specifications.
One of mankind’s oldest building materials, and a reminder of natural landscapes, stones have been a choice in interior and exterior decoration throughout all civilisations. Consequently, the look of this material inspires a sense of connection with man’s ancestral past, enhancing feelings of security and warmth.
Stone imitations are available as polyurethane decorative panels in the Panespol® STONES range of 34 models across 18 product lines. These include smooth marble effects such as Marmol Travertino and the modern stone effects of Nepal and Quebec. More rugged textures are available, Sydney for example, and a large selection of faux stone building blocks, such as Galicia.
Hotels, restaurants, and retail sports and ski outlets have been among the many commercial clients who have included Panespol® STONES models as part of their special design identities.
Often seen as more elegant than either brick or stone, Slate is a highly-valued construction material offering a broad tonal palette for decorators, particularly as tools for contrasting effects in sizeable spaces as, for example, in this outdoor TV set for the Spanish MasterChef programme.
Polyurethane decorative panels by Panespol® offer the atmospheric attributes of Panespol® SLATE and stone slab formations in 25 different faux stone models spanning 7 product lines. These range from the finely-coloured LAJA FINA, to the more cosmopolitan slab effects of VALLADOLID, and the rougher, more agrestic irregularity of PIZARRA.
In line with other wallcovering systems by the Spanish firm, all share the qualities of cleanness, lightness, recyclability, and zero toxicity.
The versatility of using polyurethane for decorative panels is well illustrated by its ability to convincingly imitate the pock marks, depressions, air pocket dents, and formwork impressions that are part of the textural complexities of concrete.
The presence of unclad raw concrete surfaces as a finish in architecture dates back to the Brutalist movement and the work of architects such as Le Corbusier, Ernö Goldfinger, Alison and Peter Smithson, and other members of a movement that saw a rugged, seemingly-unfinished style as a reflection of moral seriousness.
The stark grey tones and fine bas-relief of standard examples of Beton Brut design have been subtly adapted by Panespol® to offer the appeal of the concrete look in classic as well as more modern tones adaptable to a variety of settings in which designers seek to blend rather than contrast.
The 10 Panespol® BETON polyurethane decorative panel models are divided into 6 faux concrete product lines, all offering maximum visual authenticity, ranging from smooth to rough in texture, with Beton Tablas reflecting the formwork lines left during construction processes, and other models offering more creative variations on the raw concrete theme.
The timeless appeal of one of mankind’s oldest, most versatile, and most age-resistant materials, wood is another of the staple options of interior designers and decorators.
Exploiting the flexibility of polyurethane decorative panels to accurately simulate all the visual characteristics of both rough timber and treated, polished wood, Panespol® has eight faux wood panel models across 6 different lines in its Panespol® WOOD range. These include imitation tree trunk effects in Troncos, a modern and sophisticated walnut look, Nebraska, and Madera Encofrada, a gently-aged model in square and rectangular shapes, packed together with traces of cement to resemble the formworks used in construction, complete with grain, knots, rough edges, and nail marks. A more polished, modern finish is offered by Aragon, with versions in wood brown colour and painted white.
Certain design contexts eschew reliance on familiar looks and require more imaginative surface coverings. These may be inspired by nature, culture, or the history of design itself. Many sophisticated avant-garde decoration combinations call for futuristic vision, while there is always great demand, depending on socio-cultural factors, for luxury backdrops. The flexibility of polyurethane decorative panels allows for immense experimentation in all these directions.
Panespol® TEXTURES supplies designers with 19 wallcovering systems for exotic, luxury, and futuristic design contexts, with applications for display and decoration in a variety of domestic and commercial settings. These are aligned across six basic categories, all of which feature dynamic looks and strong decor colours. The four models of Capitone (in red, gold, black and white) reproduce the surroundings of vintage quilted textures prominent in 1940’s Hollywood films. The luxurious shine of four KASHI systems project a palatial elegance but offer interior designers options for startling combinations.
In contrast, both ETNA and FUJI collections emulate volcanic rock, another example of the detail that polyurethane decorative panel systems can achieve. The KIOTO series imitates the texture of textiles with designer wrinkles, while the geometric patterns in the three SINKIANG surfaces allow for more high-fashion, futuristic experiments in wall covering. All models conform to RAL colour standards.
Mounting of polyurethane wall coverings has been considerably simplified through the use of panel systems, which nevertheless still require a minimum of finishing materials: filler, touch-up paint, join paint, glue, and pigments.
Larger adornments such as wall mouldings and beams can also be imitated with stunning accuracy.
Complementary products Panespol® EXTRAS are made using specially-developed and patented polymers. A series of five faux MOULDINGS are available, all offering a high level of realism in imitating the smallest details of centuries-old structural decor elements. The BEAMS models offer similarly clever imitations of wood, complete with knots, grooves, grain, and ageing. The range includes a perfect facsimile of a BEAM JOINING BELT with faux iron and blackened rust.
Through Panespol®‘s “laboratory of ideas” service, LAB, complementary pieces can be mass-produced on an exclusive bespoke basis to any shape, design, finish, and production needs, complete with delivery to deadlines.
The characteristics of Panespol® polyurethane decorative panels are the following:
- Their certified thermal resistance makes them appropriate for use design and architectural materials in interior and exterior locations.
- They provide heat, sound, and damp insulation.
- They have a fireproof covering to B1 standard preventing panels from burning and resisting up to 80 degrees of temperature prior to deformation.
- Polyurethane decorative panels are light and sturdy, allowing for fast installation without noise and building work.
- They are totally non-toxic.
- 100% recyclable, made of special, totally ecological polymers.
The materials used by Panespol® meet international fire regulations for architectural and retail projects for both interior and exterior surface coverings. Owing to a 3-4mm layer of extra protection, the panels do not melt, nor can they can serve as a basis for combustion.
Polyurethane decorative panels are non-toxic, chemically inert and stable, resistant to acids, salt water, and industrial gases. Furthermore, they neither rot nor disintegrate.
In addition to the advantages of lightness and ease of transport, flexibility and malleability, Panespol® decor panels possess the overriding benefit of solidity.
This toughness and resistance is the result of determined ongoing research over a number of years. The first major challenge faced by the company was that of developing a new formula based on polyurethane in order to preserve its lightness but boost its strength. Panespol® achieved the aim of creating a polyurethane with greater density than stone, making its polyurethane decorative panel systems the best wall covering option in the marketplace.
The launch by Panespol® of a bespoke service – LAB – to produce three-dimensional objects on demand extended the company’s production scope out of flat panel systems, adding infinite possibilities to the faux beams and mouldings it has long manufactured. The bespoke nature of Panespol® LAB means that polyurethane decor objects can have any possible finish customers care to request.
To date, finishes have covered a full range from smooth, glossy, and ultra-shiny to matt, textured, and even faux rust. The aged and distressed effects on many systems imitating natural and industrial materials have been achieved to extremely high levels of authenticity, as have all bas-relief, formwork, and other textural qualities.
Colours conform to the RAL system. Some models come pre-painted to demand in any RAL colour, although all can be painted with ease by the customer.
Polyurethane decorative panels need no maintenance. Beyond normal everyday gathering of dust, which can be removed by using plain soap and water.
Each different Panespol® decor product, whether for interior design or exterior facade covering, will require a bare minimum of supplied specific accessories. In general, these amount to a special adhesive, filler paste, join paint, and touching-up paint. Some panels used pigments, also supplied.
Panespol® polyurethane decorative panels come in two size categories: normal panels, from 0.73m2 to 1m2 (effective surface area); and Big Panels, which measure up to 3m2 to enable easier application and speed up installation in big projects.
Certain models of the Panespol® BRICKS, STONES, SLATES, WOOD, AND BETON ranges can be made in formats up to 3m2.
This amounts to much time-saving during work to cover surfaces: less cutting, easier measuring, simpler placement, savings in touching up joins, etc. Also, big panels are placed using the same accessories as normal-sized panels but in smaller quantities. This is because there are fewer joins. These hyper-real faux coverings also become more uniform in bigger sizes, and are thus more convincing.
The larger panel size does not affect the qualities of polyurethane decorative panels produced up to 1m2, which maintain their lightness, ruggedness, non-toxicity, fireproofing, insulation for cold and heat, etc.
The polyurethane used by Panespol® for its decor panels is 100% biodegradable and reusable. It can be chemically recycled or used for energy recovery in line with all local and national norms.
Polyurethane is an inert substance, hence stable and safe to use. It is obtained through combining diisocyanates. In recycling, this material can be turned into useful consumer products, such as sports mats, underlay for carpets, and cushioning.
Chemical processes for recycling polyurethane decorative panels are undertaken through a variety of processes, which include: glycolysis, combining used products with diols at high heat to produce new polyols; hydrolysis, whereby the reaction between polyurethanes and water results in new polyols and other intermediate chemicals, the polyols serving as fuel, the intermediates to make other polyurethanes; pyrolysis, the production of gas and oils from breaking down polyurethanes in an oxygen-free environment; and hydrogenation, turning polyurethanes into gas and oil through combining heat, pressure, and hydrogen.
Several products result from mechanical recycling processes and these can be applied to polyurethane decorative panels: rebonded flexible foam from chopping and cutting; new polyurethane foams from regrind recycling or powdering; boards and mouldings from adhesive pressing and particle bonding; products with 100% recycled content from compression moulding, the grinding of used reaction injection moulded parts into fine particles which are then heated and remoulded.
ISOPA, the European Diisocyanate and Polyol Producers Association, maintains that there are numerous ways for simple use of polyurethane to be sustainable and more respectful to the environment than the employment of materials requiring abundant quantities of fossil fuels.
The ISOPA website claims that “while polyurethanes are mainly based on finite fossil raw material resources, their specific properties help to conserve material and energy resources, to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and to protect high and growing standards of living, making them a key contributor to environmental sustainability.”
Furthermore, it points out: “The key features of polyurethane-based solutions lie in their ability to significantly improve energy efficiency of buildings, transportation and refrigeration. They also contribute to saving our planet’s natural resources through enhancing the durability and reducing the material intensity of many goods and infrastructures and by providing new useful life to discarded materials such as rubber of low quality wood. Polyurethanes also play a key role in preventing food waste through their key role in the cold chain.”
Mounting polyurethane decorative panels by Panespol® is a particularly simple process, offering several advantages over more traditional wall covering methods. They are easy transportable. No building knowledge is required to mount them, so specialist teams are not necessary. Neither dirt nor dust is generating in their assembly. Without the need for building work to be carried out, noise is kept to a minimum. There is no damage or loss due to the great strength and robustness of polyurethane as a material.
The ‘hands-on’ process for mounting Panespol® panels is not labour-intensive. The steps to follow have been illustrated in the following videos:
Mounting wall coverings using Panespol®
Assembling Panespol® polyurethane decorative panels
Simple assembly of Panespol® coverings
Prior to carrying out mounting of wall coverings, the following steps are recommended:
- Clean and prepare surfaces properly.
- Have all necessary tools ready.
- Place all required materials together and make them accessible.
- Think about and plan each step in the mounting process.
Through the development of technology used to produce specific patents for the production of polyurethane decorative panel systems, Panespol® sought to transcend levels of satisfying designers and decorators via a market based on off-the-shelf product. Perceiving the growing frustration of project managers forced to adapt available shop display items to its window and store interior designs, the firm launched a bespoke service with a capacity to produce exclusive items that do not appear in the firm’s catalogue. Through a consultation process with the LAB experts, customers can bring ideas and sketches to Panespol® to discuss the creation of original and exclusive creations of any feasible shape, form, colour, finish, combination of materials, and purpose. The process contemplates the production of not only prototypes but also series production for bulk orders of these exclusive coverings or objects.
This new “laboratory of ideas” capitalised on both Panespol®‘s polyurethane production technology and its pre-history in arts, crafts, and experience in the DIY market. Hence, the LAB service feeds on experience in production of complex shapes and structures – in a range of materials which include non-polymers such as wood – for large retail and restaurant chains (among them Burger King, Inditex, Marks and Spencer…).
The Panespol® LAB service was set up to offer designers, architects, decorators and project managers bespoke alternatives to traditional catalogue options. The firm’s know-how lies behind its marketing LAB as a process beginning with contact between designers and Panespol to investigate production possibilities and costs for open-ended projects. In its marketing strategy, Panespol encourages potential customers to submit adventurous and experimental ideas with a view to making prototypes and discussing series production. These have so far encompassed LED-illuminated stone monolith displays, three-dimensional shapes and 3D structures, as well as one-off, specifically-commissioned detailed reconstructions of historical scenery for museums.
A made-to-measure service of this kind, open to all ideas and suggestions, significantly expands the market for more imaginative shop design, allowing them to take advantage of all the traditional benefits of Panespol®‘s systems: accurate imitation of colour and texture; lightness of weight; transportability; durability and strength; assembly without dirt, noise, or building work; environmental friendliness and sustainability; fire prevention regulations met; non-toxicity.
- Thermal Resistance Certificate: Certificated issued by Tecnalia.
- Exterior Use Certificate: Certificated issued by Aitex
- Fire Resistance Certificate: Certificated issued by Aitex
Panespol® panels have also been successfully submitted to the required testing by independent agencies to meet fire prevention regulations existing under Russian Federation Federal Law.
The formula certified by the Russian authorities is patented by Panespol®.
The many and diverse products imported by the Russian Federation must conform to complex technical regulations, and certificates are only issued when they successfully pass tests on key safety aspects.
Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation dates from 2012, and its commitment to the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement binds it to standards and conformity assessment procedures compatible to those applied worldwide.
The European Union is one of the bodies that oversees co-operation with Russia on these important product regulation questions. Regulatory cooperation between the EU and Russia is essential to trade, while negotiations constantly take place to seek greater harmonisation of standards.
The general technical specifications of Panespol® polyurethane decorative panels are available to download from: https://panespol.com/catalogue/technical-specifications/