May 24, 2006

Natural fiber composite board

Richlite panels are extremely dense, strong, and stable and are made of layered craft paper (or abaca fibers in the case of Richlite Hemp). The material was originally developed for the aerospace industry as tooling, the marine industry as fiberglass reinforcement, and most recently the action sports industry for outdoor skate ramp surfaces.

Richlite resists scratching, staining, and heat damage and will not harbor bacteria or pests. Richlite’s color is integral throughout the material, and its natural appearance develops a deep patina over time and with use.

Inherent strength and stability makes Richlite a popular choice in finishes for architectural use. Extreme cantilevers and long spans can be created without the requirement of designing extra support. Thermal contraction and expansion is minimal, and therefore need not be a design consideration.

Made with the most environmentally benign production methods and materials currently available, the paper or abaca fiber used for Richlite comes from certified or renewable resources, respectively, and the resin is harvested locally. During the saturation and drying process, over ninety-nine percent of the volatile organic compounds are incinerated. The heat from this incineration process is used for the drying process to optimize energy use and minimize thermal pollution. There is no hazardous waste generated in the process.

Contact: Rainier Richlite Corporation, Tacoma, Washington, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment

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