VTT introduces a thermoformable, 100% bio-based material to replace Fossil-based Plastics

thermoformable bio-based materialVTT, a developer of new smart technologies, profitable solutions and innovation services, produces technology for business in cooperation of its customers. VTT has developed a thermally formable, 100% bio-based biodegradable material suitable for applications such as furniture that makes it an attractive alternative to wood and biocomposite materials found in the market. The popularity of the newly developed material is due to its biodegradability, formability and colouring properties.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland  Ltd, founded in 1942, one of the leading research and technology organisations in Europe, under the mandate of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, provides expert services for our domestic and international customers and partners both private and public sectors.

Lisa Wikström, Research Team Leader from VTT, said, “All the goals we set were achieved: the material is 100% bio-based, cellulose fibres account for a significant proportion, it looks good and it has excellent performance characteristics.”

Products made from the new material can be re-used, composted, or burned to generate energy after their life, without any emission of fossil-based carbon dioxide. The material will not exacerbate the global microplastic problem as it degrades into carbon dioxide and water due to microbial actions.

Wikström, concluded, “New bio-based, thermally formable materials and composites are a promising alternative for the plastic products market. However, a big breakthrough is yet to come. A major shift requires cooperation between material and process developers as well as designers.”

VTT, Plastec Finland and KO-HO Industrial design together has developed the first model product, a designer chair made from wood-based cellulose fibres, renewable and industrially compostable, thermoformable polylactide, and bio-based additives. The development project was funded by Clic Innovations Ltd under the ACEL research programme.

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