HIMACS is a solid surface material, produced by LX Hausys, that can be moulded into any shape. It is widely used for architectural and interior applications, such as sculptural and high-performance wall cladding or kitchen, bathroom and furniture surfaces, in commercial, residential and public space projects. It is composed of minerals, acrylic and natural pigments that come together to provide a smooth, non-porous and visually seamless surface which meets the highest standards for quality, aesthetics, fabrication, functionality and hygiene – offering many advantages over conventional materials. HIMACS is designed and produced by LX Hausys (formerly LG Hausys), a world leader in the technology sector and a subsidiary of LX Holdings Corp. Interview with Timm Mudra, Director at LX Hausys Europe GmbH. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Timm Mudra: LX Hausys provides a variety of solutions that can revitalize a space through its business in the fields of building decorative materials, industrial films, and automotive materials components. With its commitment to creating value-added spaces where humans and nature exist in harmony, LX Hausys strive to present innovative products that cater to the taste, interest, and lifestyle of customers. E.E: What’s the news about new products? T.M: New Aurora Colours Our latest product launch is Aurora Colours. Inspired by the breathtaking natural beauty of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights, the Aurora colour palette from the HIMACS Marmo Collection evokes marble-like aesthetics with subtle and strong shades alongside delicate and detailed veining. The tones echo the fluidity of the sky and its natural wonders with semi-translucent effects that allow designers to experiment with a play on light, bringing natural beauty into their interior projects and clients’ homes. HIMACS has introduced 12 new Aurora Colours to the Marmo series, expanding the versatility of this collection even further. Combining practicality and aesthetics with the beauty of nature and the benefits of the latest generation solid surface HIMACS, this non-porous material can be thermoformed to create curvaceous designs and seamless surfaces that are simple to repair and keep clean. The collection is suitable for both residential and commercial projects, including hotels, office spaces, retail environments and more. Highlights of the new Aurora Colours include Calacatta Luna with its distinct veining and Aurora Frost with ethereal semi-translucent properties, resulting in an updated collection with something for every scheme and every design aesthetic. New basins collection HIMACS has also recently extended its product range by adding nine new versatile basins to its standard bathroom collection. The new HIMACS basins collection includes nine attractive models, flush and top-mounted, providing designers with more design options for bathrooms and washrooms, in both residential and commercial settings. In all cases, designers can achieve seamless and extremely hygienic installations thanks to the properties of HIMACS. Two new top-mounted basins are now available – adding to the existing range which already consisted of square, rectangular and circular shapes. These are designed to sit on top of vanity units or bespoke designed surfaces. The overall range offers design diversity no matter what the project requirements. Mix and match is a very popular option, especially for renovation projects where there is a desire to combine old and new materials and styles for an eclectic design. The warm feeling to the touch which is characteristic of HIMACS and the sleek design of these basins marry perfectly with other materials and surfaces: natural concrete, warm natural wood or vintage tiles for example. HIMACS basin CB5033 Seven new flush-mounted models have also been added to the range. These basins are designed to be used with a HIMACS work surface, giving a seamless super hygienic finish. The addition of a HIMACS splashback or full wall covering will complete the flawless design. A bathroom needs the highest standards of hygiene and functionality – which HIMACS meets with ease. Its completely seamless finish provides a totally smooth surface, preventing the accumulation of dirt, mould and bacteria. Moreover, its resistance to the most aggressive cleaning agents guarantees a long-lasting durability without any discolouration. All HIMACS basins are manufactured using a high-tech casting process which ensures the highest product quality and maximum design flexibility. E.E: What are the ranges of products? T.M: HIMACS is available in standard sheets in different thicknesses, formats and sizes. Perfect for maximum cutting and minimal costs. HIMACS sheets are also available in special formulations: • HIMACS Exteria®: HIMACS FR – Increased fire resistance (Low flammability, ETA Certified, IMO Certified, Norm EN 45 545 Class R1 HZL3 for fire protection on railway vehicles) HIMACS UV+ – Advanced UV resistance. Perfect for use in healthcare or outdoor environments. • HIMACS Ultra-Thermoforming: Advanced Thermoforming, up to 6 mm internal radius for even more extreme curves. • HIMACS Intense-Ultra: The best of two worlds – Ultra-Thermoforming and Intense Colour Technology Sinks, Bowls & Basins, Shower Trays and Baths With HIMACS’s comprehensive range of sinks, bowls & basins, baths and shower trays, creative planners have all the options to design functional and tasteful kitchens and bathrooms, sanitary facilities, hospitals and much more. With the exception of some bathroom bowls, all these products are designed to be flush- or under-mounted, in combination with HIMACS sheet materials. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? T.M: The Solid Surface market is well-established, and our HIMACS product, in particular, is well-known and highly appreciated among experts. We constantly see shifts between commercial and residential applications. Due to the versatility and almost infinite application possibilities, we still see great potential in some market niches. For this reason, marketing and promotional activities are essential to spread the features and possibilities of the product to its full extent, specifically in both of the mentioned application areas. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? T.M: There are many movements in the current times. Product-wise, we see a higher demand for marbled/veined colours, which have been in demand internationally for a long time, but are now also well-received in Europe. We are happy about this as the AURORA colours, from our Marmo collection, perfectly meet the current market trends, and we can use our global experience to have a successful color collection running in Europe. In terms of sales, we had a strong demand during covid pandemic for applications in the residential market. This has stabilised slightly now. However, the commercial market is recovering faster than expected and we are seeing growth in the commercial sectors, especially for hospitality and shop fitting applications. In principle, we assume that new construction projects will be slow down a bit over the next 5 years, but the refurbishment market will grow significantly over the next 10 years. We can offer clear product advantages in this market, which puts us in a leading position to meet the demand. Timm Mudra E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? T.M: As mentioned above, colours are extremely important and often a decisive factor for high-quality design, we offer around 100 HIMACS colours, a huge colour spectrum for the industry. Furthermore, we constantly improve our product’s performance, especially in terms of ease of processing. Recently, we successfully presented an innovative product, the Ultra collection. HIMACS Ultra is especially popular with solid surface fabricators, as the technical performance and benefits can significantly reduce labour costs in the manufacturing process. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023? T.M: That is a good question that is becoming increasingly difficult to answer in today’s world. I don’t think the construction market will get any easier, but I think the premium/high-end market will be more resilient to any circles of influence. Some industries will definitely experience cuts, while others will benefit. We are planning for 13% growth across Europe, which will come from gaining market share and market growth in segments such as refurbishment. We had a really good start in 2023, I am positive that we will reach our own growth targets this year.