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Natural materials perfect for reinforcement of bioplastics: better compatibility, composition stays fully renewable, and excellent recyclability.

More than 100 specialists at VTT are developing natural biomass-based material solutions for the industry. By scaling up production and utilising materials that come from waste or sources not in competition with food production, we can offer our partners reduced costs – and a decreased ecological footprint.

For Puustelli, we have created a pioneering material almost a third lighter than chipboard and significantly stronger, with excellent moisture resistance. The reduced carbon footprint is now close to 50%.

“VTT’s role in the development of our new eco-friendly kitchen concept was significant,” says Jussi Aine, CEO of the Puustelli Group. “Based on the research results we were able to select the most fitting material to our new Puustelli Miinus kitchen concept. Without VTT’s expertise we wouldn’t have yielded the breakthrough in our project.”

Fibre reinforcement or natural fibres: well-designed processes are the key to success 

Generally it all starts with the selection of raw materials for the design and modelling phase, and a full life-cycle analysis. The end result is a high-performing product for the customer, plus improved manufacturing processes and tailored equipment where requested.

Fibre treatments and modifications are major elements of our visionary work. We are able to reduce costs by using low-cost additives, or improve the properties with the help of thorough composite design. “We can also reduce product weight and the amount of raw material used,” guarantees VTT’s research team leader Kalle Nättinen.

Our primary expertise includes such materials as biopolymers, bioplastics and biofoams, as well as natural fibres such as wood, cellulose, hemp and flax. VTT is aiming at the production of entirely bio-based materials with technical performance similar to state-of-the-art engineering plastics.

From biocomposites to plastics processing – unlimited possibilities for creating commercial products

VTT covers the entire value chain, from biomass-based polymers, natural fibres, and additives, to bio composites, products and novel processing technologies. Our expertise in biocomposites has been accumulated and tested over the past 15 years in over 30 research projects.

Among these are EU projects such as BioComp,Woody, BioStruct, EcoPlast, EcoShell, Innobite, OSIRYS and INCOM, as well as several application development projects with industrial partners.

Additional information

Antti Ojala
Research Team Leader
+358 20 722 4282

Ali Harlin
Research Professor
+358 20 722 6386