Micromoulded biocomposites

Bas Froon

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- story by MaterialDistrict

Designer Bas Froon developed a ‘micromoulding’ machine that makes it possible to locally change material qualities from a soft material into a strong and lightweight plastic. By doing this, he can keep the tactile qualities of the raw material, while giving it more strength to be used in various furniture, fashion and textile type of applications.

This process uses various base shapes and digital pattern files. Each product or sheet of material can be different and will have the desired strength or tactility where needed. It is possible to mould the raw material locally up to 100% to make functional parts in the same sheet. Also, automated joining of multiple layers and 3D shaping out of one sheet is possible.

The micromoulding process makes uses thermoplastic composite materials: natural fibres or recycled textiles combined with biobased plastic like PLA. The photos show the following composites: cellulose/PLA (white), flax/PLA (brown), recycled KLM uniforms/PLA (blue). But many other combinations of (natural) fibres and (bio)plastic can be processed, both in woven and non-woven form.

The raw materials are made available by the HvA – RECURF project and the Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy (‘Lectoraat Biobased Bouwen’) of the Avans Hogeschool and HZ University of Applied Sciences.

Material Properties