Bio-based composite material made from wood fibres, fillers such as marble-based calcium carbonate, and an animal bone meal-based binder, have been developed in a Swiss project. The IWK institute of materials technology and plastics processing at the HSR University in Rapperswil worked with FluidSolids in Zurich in the project.
Products made from the materials included a stool produced by in-mould moulding of the core bioplastic seat element onto the stool’s wood legs. Other applications, which were developed with FluidSolids founder designer Beat Karrer, include plates, clothes hangers and a torso.
The clothes hangers have gone into large-scale production of thousands of pieces and the chair is expected to soon go into smaller series production. The torso example has led to discussions with a potential Chinese partner with the aim of producing shop clothes dummies, substituting conventional glass fibre reinforced thermosetting polyester.The FluidSolids material received a Materialica Design and Technology CO2 efficiency category award in 2011 on account of its “strength of added value by making products and applications more flexible, stable, ecological and cost efficient”.
The material was praised for using renewable raw materials obtained from industrial by-products, free of odour and emissions, as well for their biodegradability, high manufacturing technology adaptability, durability and surface finish.