The shell of your next device could be made of paper ... partly


February 22, 2012

A laptop shell made from Paper PP Alloy, a new composite material made from recycled paper and polypropylene

A laptop shell made from Paper PP Alloy, a new composite material made from recycled paper and polypropylene

It's possible that your next laptop computer could contain parts of your present-day notebook ... not your notebook computer, mind you, but your actual notebook. At least, it will if China's PEGA Design and Engineering has anything to say about it. The company's new Paper PP Alloy, made from a combination of recycled paper and polypropylene, is intended for use in the shells of consumer electronic devices.

According to PEGA, not only is the material strong and flexible, but it is also recyclable and reusable, and it's inexpensive to produce. Additionally, because it can be injection molded, it could be used in existing production facilities without having to make extensive changes.

Although the company states that Paper PP Alloy has "already drawn the attention of consumer electronics manufacturers," there is no word on whether or not there are any actual takers as of yet.

In the past few years, PEGA has also experimented with creating computer shells out of materials such as bamboo, cellulose acetate, and plant-based biodegradable polylactic acid.

Source: PEGA Design and Engineering via The Gadgeteer

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

\"New\" technology? Hardly. As early as the 1940s, the US Forest Products Laboratory was experimenting with a product they called \"papreg\" consisting of paper impregnated with a polymer. In those days polypropylene resin was not available so they were probably using phenolics, but the principle is the same. Nice to see it coming back.


That picture shows an Eee PC original old one. The Eee PC 701 and 900 were the very first budget netbooks on the planet. They started the netbook revolution. They had useful specifications and were easily modified and tweaked. I am still using the 701, the very first one, with Windows 7, vlited, and all programs open within 2 seconds.

Dawar Saify

Until one really understand how this PP Paper Alloy material is made, one should not play down this new technology. Sure, paper and polymer have been around for years, but to put them together in an innovative manner to produce a material that can be applied to make things we use daily in our lifes. My understanding is PP Paper Alloy is more than just paper impregnated with polymer. This new \"alloy\" may be based on some basic principles (isn\'t everything? Newton\'s laws, chemical properties, etc.), but China PEGA Design was creative to take advantage of old principles to innovate. This is fundamental for innovation. Wish all of us can make use of principles we learn in school and in life to innovate.

Paper has been well used for many things including canoes. In the old days they simply used good paper with some pine resin or even pitch to build canoes and these days we see a few homes built of paper pulp mixed with cement. One caveat is that we no longer have access to the high quality paper of yesteryear as they added quite a bit of shredded cloth to their paper making it a superior product. But this new paper product will be even more useful if larger items can be made of it such as the exterior plastics in TVs and computers. Jim Sadler
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