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VTT and ISKU build pioneering biocomposite chair

The biocomposite material used in VTT and ISKU’s demo chair is versatile, durable and recyclable.


VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and furniture manufacturer ISKU have together created a pioneering biocomposite chair using paper machine technology.

The chair is made from a cellulose-plastic compound that uses natural cellulose fibres, polypropylene and wood pulp from Finnish forests as raw materials. VTT produced the biocomposite material using foam forming technology, a method originally developed for paper making.

“The process allows for high-volume and cost-efficient production and provides nearly limitless options for product customisation,” said Miika Nikinmaa, biomaterial solutions lead at VTT. “Unlike conventional methods, we maintain the fibre properties and can get full reinforcing potential.”

The material can be 3D moulded into challenging shapes, worked on with ordinary woodworking tools and combined with other materials, such as metal or wood. Furthermore, VTT estimates the material’s production costs could be 26 per cent lower than materials produced with conventional technologies.

The new material uses wood pulp from Finnish forests.

Vastavalo/Teemu Tretjakov

The demo chair, designed by ISKU, showcases the biocomposite material’s versatility and potential in furniture design. It is sleek, durable, lightweight and easy to assemble. The chair can also be recycled at the end of its life cycle, reducing the environmental impact of furniture waste.

The material also has the potential for other applications beyond furniture, such as packaging, consumer goods and construction. VTT is currently working with partners to advance the technology and explore ways to bring it to the commercial market. Nikinmaa estimates the material will become available to consumers in the medium to long term.

The global biocomposite market is expected to grow to approximately 7.6 billion US dollars by 2027 (BCC Research).

By: Eeva Haaramo