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First natural fiber monobloc chair

News International-French

30 Jun 2011

The Hemp Chair has been designed for a lightweight manufacturing process stemming from the car industry: the renewable raw materials hemp and kenaf are compressed with the water-based thermoset binder Acrodur from BASF to form an eco-friendly, lightweight and yet strong composite.

The acclaimed designer Werner Aisslinger and BASF have been showcasing the world’s first monobloc chair made of natural fibers at the Material Vision 2011, the trade exhibition on materials for product development, design and architecture.



New material - new design

Today’s consumers are striving towards a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle that is in harmony with the environment. They want innovative products as well as new, environmentally compatible, light and durable materials. “Design history is driven by new technologies and material innovation. They have always been the starting point for new objects and typologies in design,“ stated the Berliner designer Werner Aisslinger. The Hemp Chair is designed in the tradition of monobloc stackable chairs (monobloc = of one piece), which are often made of plastics. “For us it was important to show the versatility of natural fibers in combination with our binder”, said Dr. Michael Kalbe, Technical Marketing Dispersions for Fiber Bonding at BASF: “Werner Aisslinger’s creation combines eco-friendliness, functionality, form and optics.”



Acrodur: lightweight, stable and eco-friendly

BASF’s water-based acrylic resin Acrodur® allows the use of more than 75 percent natural fibers for the Hemp Chair. Unlike with classic reactive resins, this method releases no organic substances such as phenol or formaldehyde during the cross-linking process. The only by-product of the curing procedure is water. Furthermore, the industrial process of compression molding accounts for low-cost mass production of three-dimensional objects with high mechanical resistance and very low specific weight. This production method is widespread in the automobile industry. Natural fiber composites are often used in lightweight components such as door linings, shelves and other interior trim parts.



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