Hanover-based well Ausstellungssystem GmbH sells environmentally-friendly wooden materials for furniture and booth construction, interior and product design and promotes its new wooden sheeting kraftplex® for use in high-tech innovations. Wellboard, the wooden composite in waves, is already being used in theatres, shop windows and museums.
Wellboard and kraftplex® are the trade names of the innovative wooden materials produced by Hanover-based well Ausstellungssystem GmbH. The company, which was founded in 1991, developed the two materials on the basis of the sustainable raw material wood under the leadership of artist and industrial designer Franz Betz. The biomaterials are composed entirely of cellulose and are produced without the addition of adhesives and binders.
"We see ourselves as the promoters and providers of a ‘green' material to designers and architects," said Franz Betz. The wellboard's corrugated material and flexibility make it an excellent material for exhibition booths, furniture and store construction. The different wave profiles are pressed into the flat base plate using heat and pressure in high-pressure presses. The material can be processed like other wood-based materials and can also be varnished. "However, the material is only suited to industrial application to a limited degree since the wave shape is difficult to achieve in industrial mass production," said Betz.
The shapeable kraftplex® wooden sheeting is far better suited to industrial production than wellboard. “I believe that kraftplex® might be able to replace traditional plastic and aluminium sheets,” said Franz Betz. The material consists of 100% unbleached cellulose but combines the characteristics of metals, composite materials and plastics. “With density characteristics that are similar to those of aluminium sheets and electrical insulation forces like plastics, kraftplex® is an excellent alternative to these two materials. Similar to paper production processes, the thin kraftplex® layers are placed on top of each other, pressed and felted (joined). The high-value fibres originate from sustainably cultivated softwood stocks in Canada and Scandinavia, but can also be produced from wood waste.
The bio-material is so flexible that three-dimensional shaping by deep-drawing is possible. Kraftplex® can be processed in many different ways. For example, the material can be used with paints, varnishes, adhesives, and can be printed on or covered with décor film.
In order to increase the potential uses of kraftplex® hd (high density), well Ausstellungssystem GmbH recently organised a workshop in the city of Stade in cooperation with the Braunschweig-Lüneburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Participants in the workshop found that kraftplex® can easily be shaped into different forms and can also be cut in wet as well as in dry conditions. The workshop participants came up with numerous suggestions for the application of the material in interior design, such as newspaper holders and vases.
The unique production process of kraftplex® does not require the use of chemical additives, bleaching and binding agents. This makes the material biologically degradable, environmentally friendly and emission-free. These properties make the material particularly attractive for use in innovative areas such as medicine and well-being. Kraftplex® is already used in furniture, vehicle and tool construction, but can also be used for electrical components and in product and industry design. "We would very much like to use kraftplex® in other areas," said Betz.