VTT and ISKU Collaborate on Biocomposite Materials for Next-Gen Furniture

VTT and ISKU set new eco-design standards with their biocomposite chair.

Finland’s VTT Technical Research Centre and furniture company ISKU have collaborated to develop a pioneering chair made from biocomposite materials. This sustainable piece leverages cellulose-plastic compounds, integrating natural fibers, polypropylene, and wood pulp sourced from Finnish forests, showcasing the practical applications of biocomposites in furniture design.

Advancements in biocomposite production

The biocomposite material is produced using foam forming technology, a method originally developed for papermaking, allowing for high-volume, cost-efficient production. Miika Nikinmaa, Biomaterial Solutions Lead at VTT, highlights the process’s efficiency and its potential to revolutionize production by preserving fiber properties for enhanced material strength. 

“Once the process is optimized, we expect to be competitive even with extrusion technologies. In a previously published paper, we estimated that production costs would be 26% lower than with conventional technologies, but these figures will become more accurate as development continues,” Nikinmaa remarked.

This biocomposite material boasts impressive mechanical strength and can be 3D shaped into complex designs, ideal for crafting lightweight yet sturdy structures. Its thermoplastic nature allows easy manipulation with standard woodworking tools, presenting a versatile and practical option for furniture manufacturing.

Design and environmental impact

ISKU’s design for the chair features a contemporary look that accentuates the biocomposite’s natural texture and hue. “Our aim isn’t merely to replicate existing products using new materials, but to pioneer innovative solutions that address unique customer needs previously unmet on the market,” said Mikko Porter, Head of Lean Six Sigma at ISKU. The chair’s design is not only stylish but also durable, lightweight, and recyclable, aligning with environmental sustainability goals by minimizing furniture waste.

Broadening horizons in the biocomposites market

Representing a significant breakthrough in the furniture industry, the biocomposites market is projected to reach US$7.6 billion, with a steady growth rate of 7.6% annually from 2023 to 2027, according to BCC Research in 2022. 

This material offers versatility in manufacturing, allowing for diverse product forms and combinations with other materials. Beyond furniture, the biocomposite has potential applications in packaging, consumer goods and construction. VTT is dedicated to forming partnerships to commercialize this technology and bring biocomposite products to the consumer market in the foreseeable future.

“VTT will work with partners to advance the technology and explore ways to bring this exciting technology to market. The material is expected to become available to consumers in the medium to long term,” Nikinmaa added. 

Also read: 

Header Image by FreepikPress release link: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/making-furniture-with-paper-machines—vtt-and-isku-have-created-a-novel-biocomposite-chair-from-cellulose-302108096.html

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

What Are Altcoins and Is It Safe to Invest in These Cryptocurrencies?

In the crypto world, while Bitcoin continues to dominate headlines, there’s a growing interest in alternative cryptocurrencies, known as “altcoins”. Recent developments, such as Ethereum’s significant Shanghai upgrade and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of Bitcoin ETFs, have spotlighted these innovative Bitcoin alternatives. Altcoins like Ethereum, Binance Coin and newcomers are carving out their own niches and pushing the boundaries of what cryptocurrencies can do.