VTT is developing technologies to use bio-polymers and wood fibre in thermal insulation materials: environmentally friendly, renewable raw-materials and cost-efficient production processess.
Thermal insulation materials are typically made from non-renewable and poorly recyclable materials such as polystyrene, glass, slag and rock. Although some recycled wood fibre products are on the market, there is a huge market potential for bio-polymer and wood fibre-based insulation products.
Whether you think the topic is hot or cool, contact us to learn more.
Foam formed insulation materials
VTT’s innovation in wood fibre based insulation materials is built on competences in fibre processing, web forming and drying technologies and chemistry. The technology is based on the foam-laid forming, where fibre-foam with the desired properties is produced by stirring the carefully chosen mixture of fibres, water, foaming agent, and possible additives. Finally, the foam is filtered through a wire using a vacuum, and sheets are dried so as to form thick and porous insulation materials.
In addition to insulation materials, foam-laid forming can be utilized for the manufacture of acoustic panels, building boards, fibre reinforcements, prepregs, packaging boards and printing papers.
Current research focuses on reaching the product-specific properties and upscaling the processes on pilot-scale.
Commercialization of the technology
The development work on thermal insulation materials is carried out on the laboratory scale with different kinds of hand sheet moulds. Up-scaling of the technology is supported by VTT’s extensive fibre forming research pilot facilities.
The main activities are done within the Tekes-funded (the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) Joint Programme. Our main partners are large companies and SMEs from the pulp and paper, construction and thermal insulation industries.
The fastest commercialization potential is expected for innovative thermal insulation manufacturers.