- story by MaterialDistrict
Organoid mouldings, made from organic fibres and a natural binder, are capable of achieving complex curves through a relatively simple production process. Applications include home accessories, door handles, building insulation and car parts. On a larger scale, while freeform architecture is not possible for many projects due to its cost, these bio-composite mouldings offer a reasonably priced option for the production of designs with double-curved forms and freeform shapes.
The process developed by Organoid Technologies GmbH for creating these dynamic mouldings has been internationally patented. Versatile and relatively straightforward, the process begins with an inflatable inner form that can be freely shaped. The10 form is then placed under pressure and covered with a vacuum film. Organic materials, such as wood chips, reed or straw for example, are ground to the desired degree of fineness and texture and then combined with a natural binder of the required strength. This mixture is then sprayed onto the form. While the sprayed-on mixture is still damp and flexible, it is covered with another vacuum film and hermetically sealed. With the application of defined negative pressure, the bio-composite moulding is compressed and then hardens into its final form.
Properties of the mouldings – including colour, thermal insulation values, as well tensile and compressive strength – vary depending upon the composition of the fibre and binder mixture. Properties in some instances even include smell as Organoid Technologies mixes flower blossoms into the final product if requested. In fact, Organoid Technologies receives rosebuds for a ‘special price’ from an Austrian company specialised in exporting organic herbs and spices.
In total, there are approximately 60 fibres with about 40 different binders available. The wide range of fibres available include, but are not limited to: Spruce particles, Century plant (agave), alpine hay, alpine rose, aloe vera leaf, recycled wood, recycled paper, birch leaf, bonsai, nettle leaf, nettle caulis, chili thread, date kernel, date palm leaf, sweet chestnut, peanut, ash, palm leaf, fig tree branches, cactus pear, flax fibre, flax shives, flax straw, barley husk, wood chips, oat straw, hemp, hazelnut, hazelnut shell, rasperry, sorghum husk, spruce shavings, elder, refined wood fibre, cardboard chips, cherry laurel, coconut fibre, bluebottle, cork, larch needles, mountain pine needles, alfalfa (lucerne), macadamia nutshell, Neptune grass (tapeweed), Neusiedl reed, olive wood, pecan nut, pistachio nutshell, rice husk, rice straw, rice straw long fibres, calendula, cattail, rose, rose leaf, spring barley, osier stake, wheat bran, wheat husk, wheat straw and swiss pine deadwood.
Organoid moulding can be left untreated or treated with common finishes on demand.