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Zeoform: The eco-friendly building material of the future?

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August 29, 2013

Zeoform promises a recyclable, low carbon-footprint building material that's as strong as ...

Zeoform promises a recyclable, low carbon-footprint building material that's as strong as ebony

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Australian company Zeo has developed and patented a glue-free process that creates a strong, versatile new building material out of just cellulose and water. The resulting hardwood-like material known as Zeoform can then be sprayed, molded or shaped into a range of products. And it's not just trees that stand to benefit – Zeoform also promises an eco-friendly alternative to the use of plastics and resins.

The environmental advantage of using cellulose as raw material is that, as the most abundant organic compound on Earth, it can be extracted from a wide range of sources including recycled paper, fabrics and plants. It can also be found in some forms of algae and in the secretion of some bacteria.

The formula used to make Zeoform imitates a natural glue-free process called hydroxyl bonding, whereby cellulose fibers stick together in water. According to Zeo this process is non-toxic, requiring no chemicals or glues, and is "energy and water efficient."

Zeo says the resulting material that is recyclable, "as strong as ebony" and can be shaped using a range of techniques that make it suitable for use in "any industry requiring woods, plastics and resins for manufacturing." At higher densities, Zeoform is water- and fire-resistant and the company is also working on coatings that could resist some of the most extreme weather conditions.

Zeo is launching a crowd-funding campaign October 19th and 20th during the LA Green Festival.

Source: Zeoform via Inhabitat

About the Author
Antonio Pasolini Brazilian-Italian Antonio Pasolini graduated in journalism in Brazil before heading out to London for an MA in film and television studies. He fell in love with the city and spent 13 years there as a film reviewer before settling back in Brazil. Antonio's passion for green issues - and the outdoors - eventually got the best of him and since 2007 he's been writing about alternative energy, sustainability and new technology.   All articles by Antonio Pasolini
10 Comments

From the article and website I can not tell if the material can be used in a 3 d printer to print small objects or a whole house. Does the cure make printing a house not practical? Could 'LOGS" be premade and assembled into a cabin/house on site? Printing seems a great option if it can be done! Why not? Eric

eric25001
30th August, 2013 @ 12:52 am PDT

Is it "as strong as Ebony" across the grain or with the grain? Sure would be nice to see more numbers for things like strength, stiffness, toughness, density, and other things of interest to a designer, like color. The feedstock is also nicknamed "swellulose" for its normal reaction to changes in humidity. I can only assume that no news is bad news here.

Bob Stuart
30th August, 2013 @ 02:23 am PDT

Looks like a great material, wood already contains glues as that is how it holds itself together.

Use hemp and would be massively strong and almost water/rot proof naturally. Plus it grow fast like a weed. many places could get 4 crops/yr on marginal land for use as fuels, fibers, clothes, building materials, etc.

jerryd
30th August, 2013 @ 11:16 am PDT

How heavy is that chair? Just wondering about the weight of this stuff.

Dan Parker
30th August, 2013 @ 11:17 am PDT

Looks like the next 3D printer material.

dandrews1138
30th August, 2013 @ 11:25 am PDT

Really would like to see more on the stuff's properties.

Arf
30th August, 2013 @ 02:49 pm PDT

One issue not mentioned at all is a comparison between how much energy it costs to make Zeoform-based products vs. the competition..

Todd Edelman
30th August, 2013 @ 06:31 pm PDT

Tässäkö Suomen puunjalostusteollisuuden uusi tulevaisuus? (Is this the new Finnish wood-processing industry of the future?)

Vipu Pietila
3rd September, 2013 @ 09:12 pm PDT

Great product and what a beautiful, sleek design it's created. Let's hope we see a lot more of this ground breaking stuff. Lainie

Lainie Gilby Anderson
4th September, 2013 @ 06:25 pm PDT

For anyone interested in more technical data. Zeoform has updated its data sheets: http://www.zeoform.com/technical-data/

zeoform
21st July, 2014 @ 07:07 pm PDT
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