Finnish wooden foam may substitute plastic in packaging

The analysis workforce is at the moment seeking to optimise the properties by exploring completely different materials mixtures and manufacturing strategies, comparable to extrusion and net formation. A combination of lignin, wooden fibre and laponite, for instance, has been discovered to provide a foam that resists shock and humidity, making it a viable various to plastic.

The fabric is “remarkably” much like cork, solely dozens of occasions lighter.

“Synthetic intelligence makes use of earlier knowledge to point out us methods to add a desired characteristic with much less effort,” advised Juha Koivisto, a post-doctoral researcher at Aalto College.

“Conventional materials improvement is gradual and unpredictable, and new supplies could have even emerged accidentally, as was the case with Teflon. On this mission, we utilise machine studying, with which we are able to exclude superfluous mixtures of supplies and processes and significantly speed up improvement work.”

Juha Koivisto, a post-doctoral researcher at Aalto College, measured the power of the bio-based foam. Picture: Mikko Raskinen

Professor Mikko Alava identified that for a cloth to exchange styrofoam and bubble wrap in business packaging functions, it have to be reasonably priced, biodegradable and producible in massive portions. If the workforce succeeds in demonstrating that the fabric is each fireplace protected and humidity resistant, its power, lightness and warmth insulation properties would additionally make it appropriate for insulating buildings.

“Probably the most extraordinary characteristic of the froth is that it’s edible,” stated Koivisto. “The strategy makes it attainable to provide foam from carrot, lingonberry or beetroot powder, and make chips out of them much like potato crisps.”

The analysis has acquired funding from each the Know-how Industries of Finland Centennial Basis and Jane and Aatos Erkko Basis. Enterprise Finland, in flip, has granted funding to discover business functions and markets for the fabric, bringing the entire mission funding to just about a million euros.

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