Recycled Aluminum Solid Surface countertops
A great countertop option to use in your green home renovation or green construction is recycled aluminum solid surface as a countertop. A great alternative to stainless steel countertops. It is sleek, hygienic and non absorbent, making for beautiful kitchen counters and bathroom surfaces.
One such recycled aluminum solid surface product is Alkemi, made by Renewable Materials LLC, a Maryland based company who is manufacturing these surfaces from fine flake aluminum milling scrap. It is available in 3 finishes (Textured, Classic and Honed) and is a great green alternative to standard solid surface, laminate or natural stone surfaces.
Environmental impact of Recycled Aluminum Countertops
Recycled Aluminum solid surfaces are made from certified 35% post Industrial aluminum scrap or 60% by volume aluminum scrap. It is mixed with Polyester Resin and formed in similar fashion to solid surface countertops.
Alkemi recaptures the dust and particles created during fabrication and reuse these by-products as an opaque resin for future use. This product is unfortunately not NSF certified as it made from recycled aluminum materials without defined sources but does qualify for LEED Credits and is certified by SCS (Scientific Certification Systems) a sustainable materials evaluation organization.
Much like solid surface, it can be customized for inlaid sinks and multiple angles. Regardless whether the product is installed horizontally or vertically, a substrate is required for all installations. Edging can be done on Alkemi but any miter work is highly suggested to be completed by the installer.
Recycled Aluminum Solid Surfaces Health Impact
Recycled aluminum surfaces have similar absorbency rates as normal solid surface. Because they are made from a mix of resin, they repel liquids and stains easily.
They are relatively durable yet scratching can occur but repair can be done on the Honed and Classic styles. It is recommended that hot pots or objects are not placed directly on the surface. In terms of using cook tops and cooking surfaces with this product, the manufacturer’s recommends using a stainless steel insert and to not have direct surface contact. As mentioned, avoid using sharp objects directly on the surface to prevent scratching and allowing bacteria to form.
This product is not NSF certified but is guaranteed to be food safe by Renewable Materials LLC. While resin is considered toxic in its liquid form, the resins used in the fabrication of Alkemi have a VOC output of less than 100 parts per million making it non detectable in your home.
The Sexy Green Home Opinion:
Alkemi is a beautiful product and has a very unique look and feel to it. It is 35% recycled material which is good but with many manufactured products there is a negative impact which is the Polyester Resin and seam sealers used. We feel it would be great product choice in medium traffic areas to prevent scratching and such. If this is a product that you do choose for your home, it will add uniqueness to your design and be a conversation piece for guests and family alike.
More uses for recycled aluminum in the home