Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Lightweight paper foam material

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Lightweight paper foam material
A new material made from a mix of cellulose and starch could have applications as a lightweight and insulating packaging material
In Use – The technology is currently still in development, but the researchers are actively seeking ideas and partners for developing commercialised applications for this material.

Benefits
Packaging Reduction, Product Waste Reduction

Product Categories
Drinks, Food, Home Improvement, Household & Personal Care

Relevant Materials
Biopolymer, Paper, Other (e.g. soluble sachets )

Relevant Packaging Formats
Totes, stillages, various bulk formats

Supply Chain Phase
Other

Details

A research team has discovered that a novel, lightweight foam material can be produced from a cellulose fibre and starch mix. When the mix is heated to 100 degree Celcius, water in the mixture turns to steam. As the steam expands, the mix forms a foam.
 
Depending on the amount of of water used, the foam becomes soft and flexible, or stiff like styrofoam.
 
Early tests show that the material has excellent insulating properties and can potentially be formed into trays and similar packaging shapes. Combining the material with functional barriers could open up a variety of applications. The research is at an early stage and the developers are looking for suggestions and partners for developing commercial applications. Potential applications could include packaging uses, such as a lightweight alternative to corrugated board, or a fully recyclable food packaging tray. The material could also provide a very effective cushioning material.
 
The material, known as FoamPulp, has been developed by Sodra Cell, working with the Swedish industrial research oganisation SIK.
 
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier

Potential Benefits

The potential benefits of this new material include:
  • A lighterweight alternative to some existing packaging solutions
  • A fully recyclable solution
  • Improved insulating properties to reduce food waste in the supply chain.

Intellectual Property

The process for manufacturing FoamPulp is subject to various patent applications by Sodra and the research partners.

Consultant View

This is a new material and its potential applications at this stage are unknown, but there are some exciting opportunities. Readers interested in this technology are encouraged to search the REID database for other new packaging materials using the key words search "New materials".

Contacts and Further Information

Technology contact:
Anna Altner
Manager Södra PulpLabs
Södra
Skogsudden
351 89 Växjö
Sweden
Tel: +46 470 890 00

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