We stopped by the 'Thai Materials' exhibition which recently opened at Material ConneXion's New York City headquarters. The show features a collection of products, prototypes and case studies that demonstrate practical uses for new and emerging eco-friendly materials from Thailand.
There's a broad range of indigenous materials to checkout including; papers made with banana plant fibers, edible packaging derived from casava starch, bio-active fabrics made with bacteria cultured in pineapple juice, and particle board made from recycled post-consumer denim.
The exhibition runs through till August 31, 2011, and you never know who you might see there—we just missed a McQueen-clad Daphne Guinness visiting the materials library.
KU-GREEN by Venture Business KU-GREEN, Kasetsart University
An edible packaging material made from cassava (tapioca) starch blended with 10% plant fibers. The material can be molded into various forms using compression and has a shelf life of two years under ambient conditions. The trays are safe for food use including hot liquids and can may be microwaved for short periods of time.
Ba-na by Baba
Produced from banana fiber, this handmade decorative paper is available in a range of monochromatic and multi-colored options (including made-to-order). The paper is extremely thin making it ideal for stationery and packaging.
CelPad by Hutek
Made from corrugated cardboard and impregnated with a polyester resin, CellPad is used as a cost-effective material for cooling and humidification. Solid and lightweight, it increases surface contact between air and water, dramatically improving the evaporation process.
EMAP by Thai Plastic Bags Industries
Equilibrium Modified Atmosphere Packaging (EMAP) differs from generic food wrap film, it's mixed with an additive that slows down the respiration rate of fresh produce, and can increase the shelf life of vegetables by 2-5 times.
100% Natural Rubber Sheets by Flexible
Available in nine colors, this 100% natural rubber sheet is highly elastic, flexible and lighter than traditional rubber.
CELLOCRETE by Cellocrete Thai Co.
Wood strands are bonded with cement and compressed under pressure to create this lightweight sheet materiel. It's water resistant, non-combustible, termite safe, can be nailed like wood and has good sound absorption qualities.
GARMENTO Board by Triple Pim Co.
Rigid, lightweight solid panels made from recycled denim. The denim scrap is cut into small pieces, mixed with a PMDI (non-formaldehyde) adhesive and compressed at high temperature to make the boards tough, flame-resistant, and water-proof. They can be made using other post-consumer garment materials as well such as 100% polyester knitted fabric.
Coconut Coir Mat by Victory Industrial
The fiber mat is composed of 80% coconut coir and 20% natural latex rubber. Available in a range of thicknesses, it's applications include; mattresses, cushioning in furniture, sound dampening in speakers, industrial filters, and agricultural ground cover for retaining moisture.
Biocellulose by Thainanocellulose
Translucent white bio-active bandages with a hyrdogel that improves wound healing. These cellulose based fabrics are made from bacteria cultured in pineapple juice, are supplied sterile and are suitable for medical use.
Honeycomb Paper Core by O&H Honeycomb Paper
This hexagonal honeycomb paper core is made from recycled paper, it's extremely lightweight and strong, and has a humidity resistance of 90%. The outer surfaces can be laminated with melamine, paper or custom veneers and is currently used for the core of furniture sheets, walls, partitions, countertops, and doors.
Sesbania Tree Shavings by Prosper
The fast-growing Sesbania tree is native to many Asian countries and is harvested for a variety of uses. The flowers of the Sesbania tree are eaten and the inner bark of the tree is used as an alternative to cork. The shavings are lightweight and flexible with a soft, spongy texture, are free of chemicals, are biodegradable and compostable.
Sucker - Shoemates by FIG (Friendly Innovation Group)
A compressed fiber sheet material made using three types of herbs; zingiber, guava and betel leaves. The mats are chemical-free, can be safely composted after use, and have antibacterial, anti-fungal and moisture absorption qualities.
Natural Seashell Tiles by Miracle Pearl
The tiles are composed of small shell fragments that can be can backed with ceramic, fiberglass, wood or marble and are suitable for work surfaces such as countertops, floors, and walls.
Fur Stories by All Art Craft
Handmade floor and wall covering that uses rope-like tendrils to create a thick pile. This 20% sisal, 80% cotton woven rug is glued to a mesh backing to ensure solidity. The rugs are available up to 4 x 5 m (13.12 x 16.4 ft) and may be made waterproof utilizing a specific coating.
Case Study: Panorama Soy Inks
Entrepreneur, chemist, and structural engineer Khun Tongdee Srikulsasitron experienced first-hand the hazardous dangers of the chemicals used in printing, he lost 15 technicians who all died of cancer during the 15 years he managed a print factory business. Traveling to Japan to study ink production, Srikulsasitron developed Panorama Soy Inks replacing the toxic chemicals with soybean and other vegetable oils. Today they are used in leading Thai newspapers Post Today and Komchadluek, and by fast food retailers such as KFC, Pizza Hut and Dairy Queen.
July 19-August 31, 2011
60 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10010