The finalists for the 2017 Biocomposites Innovation Awards have been announced by Germany-based nova-Institute. Six entries were selected out of a field of thirteen candidates by the advisory board earlier this month. Three will emerge victorious at the Biocomposites Conference, which takes place on Dec. 6 and 7 in Cologne, Germany.
Each of the finalists will be given a ten-minute slot to pitch their innovation at the close of the first day of the conference. Following the presentations, the audience will choose the three winners, who will be presented with their awards at the Innovation Award Ceremony later that evening.
The entries that made the cut were, in no particular order of ranking:
A fully bio-based pedestrian bridge developed at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands and installed by biocomposite pioneer NPSP BV (Werkendam, the Netherlands). Flax and hemp fibres, which ensure the strength of the structure, are combined with a bio-based epoxy resin. Polylactic acid (PLA) bio-foam provides the core. A vacuum infusion production process is used: Layers of natural fibres are glued around a laser-cut shape of bio-foam.
BASF SE & Sonae Arauco Deutschland AG (Germany) entered with an innovative 3D mouldable MDF styled as the new wood-based material for the furniture industry. It is a thermoplastic, processable and storage-stable composite which can be produced on existing MDF production lines. In contrast to standard thermoset boards, it offers post-mouldability and surface structuring of the composites on standard equipment in short cycle times. Due to the increased mouldability of the composite, new design options are possible. The resin system is offered formaldehyde free.
Mass produced boats are typically made of fossil-based resins, glass fibres and plastic foam. By contrast, 80% of the GreenBente24 from GreenBoats (Bremen, Germany) is made from renewable materials such as flax, cork and bio-based epoxy resin. The GreenBente24 has the same weight and stiffness as a standard boat, yet achieves an 80% reduction in its carbon footprint and is thermally recyclable.
The Stratos passive – sandwich window scantling system by G.S. Stemeseder GmbH (Austria) is a combination of a foamed PP and wood composite material with solid wooden elements. The system was developed for the production of passive house windows. The required specific heat conductivity and Uf-value of ? 0.8 W/m2K were achieved by a reduction in density of approximately 50%. The components are produced with standard machinery and wood industry tools of the wood industry. They are certified as suitable for combustion at the end of life.
From OWI GmbH (Lohr am Main, Germany) comes an injection-moulded classroom seat shell. The polypropylene (PP) and wood-based granulates were developed by Linotech GmbH (Lausitz, Germany). The chair is soft and warm to the touch while maintaining standard PP chair requirements regarding flexibility and notch impact strength. It withstands upholstery staples and stress load cycles.
As one of the oldest known fasteners in the world, the wooden nail would seem to have reach its evolutionary peak some millennia ago. Raimund Beck Nageltechnik GmbH (Mauerkirchen, Austria) however, has now developed collated wooden nails for use with pneumatic nailers. The LignoLoc fasteners do not require pre-drilling and achieve their holding power because of a natural welding effect with the base wood.