- story by MaterialDistrict
After intensive research and development, a “green” lightweight panel was created that is made from vegetable matter and agricultural waste. The sandwich panels consist of two basic components: natural fibre laminates as a top layer and a core material made of popped corn granules. Only the starch of the industrial corn is used. The proteins and oils contained in the grain are still available as animal feed, for example in the form of corn protein meal.
Depending on the application, the panels can be manufactured in a wide variety of dimensions and thicknesses. Natural fibre laminates consist of either hemp, flax, sisal or other long-fibre agricultural products. They are processed into a fleece felt and pressed with a resin under high pressure.
With the panel, Smarter Habitat wants to offer an alternative to plasterboard, which is used in large quantities in drywall construction. The patented panels have very good technical properties. They can be manufactured in different bulk densities, which means that the technical properties such as strength or soundproofing can be controlled. The fire protection properties achieved by a bio-based flame retardant are particularly noteworthy. The panels can withstand temperatures of 850 degrees for 60 minutes. In addition to drywall, the panels are also suitable as fillings for building elements.
The Smarter Habitat panels therefore offer several advantages: They are both technically and economically competitive and can be manufactured in large quantities. In addition, they are a building block of a CO2-optimized construction and real estate industry.