Australian company Zeo has patented a process that produces a moulding formula out of cellulose fibres and water. The resulting material known as Zeoform is self-binding and completely non-toxic, making it an environment-friendly alternative to plastics and resins.
According to the company the patented formula developed by Zeo duplicates nature’s ‘glue-free’ process of hydroxyl bonding. This allows Zeoform to be sprayed, poured, moulded, pressed or shaped into various forms and into a wide range of products.
“Zeoform is the revolutionary material that changes everything,” says Zeo on their blog. “Zeoform has the potential to be the world’s new plastic.”
“Zeoform can replace the use of materials such as plastic, wood and fibreglass without relying on petrochemicals or any other nasties. The true revolutionary aspect of Zeoform is that it is non-toxic and that it can be sourced from waste cellulose that would otherwise sit in landfill, be using up space and releasing methane.”
Zeoform can be blended with other substrates including organic, metallic, pigment and conductive materials, and can be color or stained. It can also be cut and machined in the same way as wood and wood composites.
Zeo explains in their website why they decided to develop the process to obtain the versatile building material:
“Cellulose fibres stick together in water and with the creation of ZEOFORM we have discovered a way to exploit this, much like nature has, to make a moulding material that sets as strong as ebony.”
Cellulose is the most common organic compound on Earth, according to information shared by Zeo. The material is found in one-third of all plant matter such as cotton, wood and hemp, which makes it an abundant material for a lot of industrial uses such as producing paper and paperboard. There are even types of bacteria that secrete cellulose to form biofilms and other functional attributes.
To a lesser extent, Zeo says cellulose is also used in a wide variety of derivative products such as cellophane and rayon, and other industries including pharmaceuticals, cosmetic and food.
For more information about the company behind Zeoform, go to Zeo’s website here.