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Printed wood to be “global turning point” for sustainable manufacturing

FWPA has an ongoing project which uses 3D printing to produce timber panels composed of forestry waste– and by- products. Interest in this technology is growing and cellulose has been found to offer a cheap alternative to plastic for printing objects. Moreover, the material produced can be further processed in the same way as wood by drilling, sawing and sanding.

The goal of printing with cellulose from varying sources is being pursued by a number of universities worldwide. For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last year proposed using cellulose acetate, a derivative of cellulose used in cigarette filters, as a printing material.

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) has succeeded in using cellulose to make a chair and a series of cellulose spheres.

“We are now at the stage of seeking industrial collaborators to bring this technology from the laboratory to the world,” said SUTD Assistant Professor Stylianos Dritsas.

The Singaporean method involved the introduction of small amounts of chitin between the fibres of cellulose. Chitin is a starch that forms the main component of insect exoskeletons and the cell walls of fungus.

The team found that chitin creates a strong, lightweight, inexpensive substance, which it calls a “fungus-like adhesive material”, or FLAM.  

Source: Global Construction Review 

Posted Date: August 13, 2018

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