When it comes to problem solving, there is no challenge too great for Robert Ddamulira, vice president of technology at Taylor Adhesives, and his team of product development specialists. Whether in their lab in Dalton, Ga., or visiting flooring manufacturers and installers around the world, the team is tasked to solve flooring’s biggest problems: reducing installation times, blocking moisture, diminishing the need for moisture testing, and controlling sound.
“I work with a great team of chemists, technicians and engineers and what we do is provide solutions for our customers,” Ddamulira said. “Right out of college, my first year as a chemist, I was formulating flooring adhesives. I’ve grown up in the industry.”
Taylor has built a legacy in the industry for its LEED-contributing, sustainable products and is a premium supplier to many of the world’s largest flooring manufacturers. Through enhancing its technology platforms, Taylor is a lead solution provider and partner with its clients.
The team approaches problems from multiple angles.“One of the things that I’ve learned over the years is that you may be a wonderful chemist, come up with wonderful ideas, but until an installer can take it out of the bucket and use it, it’s no good.”
Ddamulira and his team of installers vet each product in Taylor’s research and development lab—which includes rooms that simulate weather and moisture conditions, allows them to test installation methods and substrates, and assess the long-term quality of products. They also follow up with blind installation tests to installers in cities across the United States to get real-time feedback from the field. A recent innovation is Resolute, a resilient adhesive that controls topical liquids and substrate vapor with no moisture testing required.“It’s an interesting product,” Ddamulira said. The chemistry is a moisture-cure chemistry. It’s like a urethane product, but it’s not a urethane product. It has the performance of an epoxy, but it’s not an epoxy. Typical epoxies are two-part systems. You have parts A and B, you mix them together, and they react. Once you mix the two, you have to use it within hours, or you have to throw it out. We developed this product Resolute with the resiliency of an epoxy, but you can use half a bucket and put a lid on it and use it again the next day. It also has the performance of a urethane but without the nasty solvents you would find in a urethane. We try to develop products that address the customer and we try to make them as green as possible.”