Researchers at the Brunswick, Germany–based Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research have developed a new wood-based insulation material that consists of foamed wood particles. Aiming to create a more environmentally effective substitute for conventional petroleum-derived insulating products, the researchers established a process to transform wood into aerated panels. They grind wood into a fine pulp and add gas to expand the particle soup into a bubbly foam. Next, the scientists allow the foam to harden into a lightweight base material, which they can process further into rigid panels or flexible mats. According to the team, wood foam exhibits performance and longevity comparable to traditional polymer foam insulation.
Contact: Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Braunschweig, Germany.
For more information, see Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine Our Future