Finnish centre develops bio-based, biodegradable and thermoformable material using cellulose fibres / Part of ACel research programme
The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (Espoo; www.vttresearch.com) has developed a 100% bio-based and biodegradable material based on cellulose fibres. The research centre said the material’s formability and colouring properties make it an attractive alternative to wood and biocomposites, and, being thermoformable, it is also well suited for various manufacturing processes and products. At the end of their life, products made from this material can be re-used, composted or burned to generate energy without any fossil-based CO2 emissions.

“New bio-based, thermally formable materials and composites are a promising alternative for the plastic products market,” said Lisa Wikström, VTT’s research team leader. She noted, however, that a big breakthrough was yet to come and said that a major shift required co-operation between material and process developers as well as designers.

The first model product is a chair designed and manufactured in a collaboration between VTT, KO-HO Industrial Design (Jurva / Finland; www.ko-ho.fi) and injection moulder Plastec Finland (Vimpeli / Finland; www.plastec-finland.fi). Manufactured using traditional compounding and injection moulding technologies, the chair is made from wood-based cellulose fibres, renewable and industrially compostable, thermoformable polylactide and bio-based additives.

VTT developed the material as part of the Clic Innovation’s (Helsinki; https://clicinnovation.fi) “Advanced Cellulose to Novel Products” (ACel) research programme, which ran from 2014 to 2017. It involved nine companies and six research partners.

According to the Finnish research centre, it is a leading research and technology company that uses its research to provide expert services for domestic and international customers and partners. This includes for the private and public sectors. VTT uses “4,000,000 hours of brainpower a year” to develop new technologies.
16.07.2018 Plasteurope.com [240139-0]
Published on 16.07.2018

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