- story by MaterialDistrict
These coffee panels are composite materials produced from coffee grounds and a biopolymer, polyactic acid or polylactide (PLA). Knowing that the production and consumption of coffee generates huge amounts of low value waste with relatively little recycled, the production of these composite materials allows for the reuse and the enhancement of coffee grounds that would otherwise end up in landfills. These composite materials incorporate a percentage of coffee grounds, which may vary between 60% and 70% PLA, with and without the addition of any chemicals.
PLA is a polymer obtained from renewable sources, has excellent mechanical properties and is biodegradable (it is degraded by the action of microorganisms). At the end of its life, this material can be incinerated (does not emit toxic gases), composted (used as fertilizer) and recycled. Due to the characteristics of the materials used, coffee composites have similar properties to MDF and may be machined by various techniques such as CNC, thereby acquiring numerous forms and geometric reliefs. It should also be noted that coffee PLA composites are 100% biodegradable.