Material ConneXion: Our top 10 innovative materials of the year
Chris Schultz -- Furniture Today, June 7, 2012
NEW YORK - Sustainable growth and economic development depend on innovation and creativity. Increasingly materials and processes are the critical elements to competitive success when it comes to product design and development. Material ConneXion celebrates the importance of material innovation with the annual Medium Award for Material of the Year.
The top 10 groundbreaking materials selected from the hundreds juried into the library will be on display at Material ConneXion from May 14 to July 11. The winner will be announced on May 19 during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York, with a presentation by Dr. Andrew H. Dent, vice president, library, of Material ConneXion.
Here are the nominees:
These are printed ceramic designs on apparel textiles that act as "armor" and resist abrasion at high speeds and also protect against heat buildup on the surface due to friction. Applied to apparel and footwear, it offers greater protection against heat and abrasion.
A thermo chromatic pigment added to a multilayer fabric creates a "three color" change based upon temperature. This material reacts to heat and cold, revealing when the product reaches a certain temperature.
3. Artinel Eco
This is an alternative source for plastic and rubber products. Manufactured from rapeseed oil, an annually harvested industrial oil found widespread in Europe, this material can be used in consumer products as well as in numerous applications in the automotive and transport sectors, all while using up to 80% less oil.
This wallpaper lets you know when the wall it is applied to is being broken through. It is printed with conductive ink in parallel lines that act as "wires" connected to a simple circuit that triggers the alarm when damaged.
5. Perennial Wood
This process increases the hardness and outdoor durability of softwoods by impregnating them with an acetic acid (vinegar) based chemical. It renders the wood impervious to termites and other boring insects, as well as rot for 50 years of outdoor exposure.
Anodizing of aluminum gives colored protection able to withstand dishwasher temperatures and chemicals. This process coats types of aluminum in a decorative coating available in a range of colors. The coating protects against scratching, discoloration, corrosion and burning.
This photo catalytic coating based on TiO2 offers a more effective self-cleaning surface than other titania-based treatments. The coating can be applied to buildings, aircraft and transportation infrastructure and acts as an effective self-cleaning mechanism, forcing rain or sprayed water on the surface to slough off dirt and soiling, as well as odor causing organic matter.
8. FREEfix Technology
This is a textile applied in lightweight panels that adds up to 80 kilograms of pull-out resistance to screws. It enables panels such as honeycomb, corrugated, foams and other more porous constructions to be screwed into and to not pull out. This material allows reducing the weight of tables, desks, work surfaces and other panels without compromising construction ease.
9. Blushing Bottles
This photo chromatic pigment blushes a different color when exposed to the UV radiation in sunlight. It is added to an extruded or molded plastic or rubber.
This revolutionary process for dyeing textile fabrics uses supercritical CO2 instead of water. This process drastically reduces the impact of textile processing on water supplies and the environment.
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