- story by MaterialDistrict
VanHier converts different types of natural waste streams and fast growing crops into a thin, thermoformable and bendable sheet material, called BioM. Each sheet consists of 100% natural fibers and natural binders. It is a high-quality decorative biolaminate with a beautiful natural appearance.
The possibilities are endless, VanHier processes agricultural, horticultural and natural waste: reed clippings, roses waste, Christmas trees, cattail, sorghum, grass clippings, and there are even more possibilities. Another important ingredient is cellulose from elephants grass. This fast growing crop stores 4 times more CO2 than a similar forest-area.
BioM has a thickness of approximately 2 mm, is scratch resistant, recyclable, degradable (compostable) and moisture repellent. The material is suitable for indoor applications. The natural fibers are clearly visible in the sheets. Each waste stream has different properties and a different look.
Unlike plastic sheet material, BioM is biodegradable (compostable), recyclable, not harmful to nature and climate positive.
To obtain more strength properties, it is possible to laminate multiple (veneer) sheets with a natural binder. It is comparable with plywood. The thin sheets can be cut with a laser cutter into any shape and thus offer numerous design possibilities.
VanHier offers different colours of sheets by adding natural non-damaging colour pigments. They work with semi-transparent colours so the decorative effect of the natural fibers remains visible.
Hopefully BioM will inspire designers to create interesting beautiful applications for this new material: for wall finishes, furniture and product design!