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Brief Published: 13 Feb 2019

Acoustic Panels Made with Biomaterial & Biomimicry

Baux Acoustic Pulp

Swedish acoustic product brand Baux has developed a pioneering new biomaterial for its latest range of panels. Using biomimicry and cellulosic fibres from recycled streams of Swedish pine and spruce trees, the biodegradable Acoustic Pulp panels are the company’s first 100% bio-based product.

Based on 25 years of research, the paper-like material is engineered in collaboration with scientists at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Wood fibres are broken down before being modified to mimic the naturally occurring high-performance characteristics of different plants – such as the fire retardancy of grass roots, and the water repellence of lotus flowers.

Processed with recycled water, wheat bran, potato starch, plant-derived wax and citrus fruit, the end result is a lightweight, recyclable and completely chemical-free pulp material.

Designed by Stockholm-based design studio Form Us With Love, the series of nine panels were inspired by origami paper-folding techniques and feature zig-zagged and ribbed patterns. The surface is nano-perforated using advanced laser-cutting technology, while the backing layer features a hexagonal honeycomb structure. This combination ensures enhanced sound absorption and durability, while keeping weight and material usage to a minimum.

The panels are available in three subtle, neutral colour options, with colour achieved naturally by using different percentages (0.5 to 30%) of non-GMO wheat bran. “Adding paint would have compromised our vision of creating a 100% bio-based product,” said the studio’s creative director John Löfgren. “The final effect is an organic expression of character and colour, without any chemicals at all.”

Such design solutions help to bring privacy and quiet to communal environments such as offices without compromising sustainability. See Blueprint for a Better Workplace and Materialising Modern Work for more workplace solutions.

We noted other brands beginning to respond to demands for more comfortable and sustainable office solutions at NeoCon 2018. See also Material Direction: Reframing Wood for more high-performance wood-derived materials.