Cellutech got the mission to develop a prototype of a helmet entirely made of wood. The project was a part of Ekoportal2035, a vision of a biobased future, created by Skogsindustrierna. The company teamed up with designer Rasmus Malbert from the design studio Materialist, and this was the beautiful result:
Rasmus and co-designer Jesper Jonsson designed and constructed the helmet using different types of cellulose materials. The outer shell of the helmet is made of wood veneer and the strap of durable paper. The inside cushioning is made of Cellufoam™.
Cellufoam™ is a new and unique material made of nanocellulose produced from wood pulp and is therefore both renewable and biodegradable. The properties of Cellufoam™ are suitable for use in e.g. lightweight construction, packaging materials and absorbent products. The idea of the foam comes from a research group within the Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC) and has been further developed by Cellutech.
“The collaboration makes it possible to commercialize the new materials developed within WWSC and bring them closer to the market,” says Lars Wågberg, Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology.
The bicycle helmet is the first example of how Cellufoam™ can be used. Work are now in progress to find more suitable applications. There is currently an increasing need for renewable and biodegradable foam materials that can replace plastic foams.
“We have shown that with new innovations and good cooperation with university research it is possible to use forest raw materials to produce foam materials, that is something we are very proud of,” says Åsa Ek, Development Manager at Cellutech.
“I think there is an incredibly strong potential in this material, we are just at the beginning of an exciting trend where more and more petroleum-based materials are replaced with renewable alternatives, “says Rasmus Malbert.
From research to market
Cellutech was founded in 2012 and has developed a number of technologies within renewable materials. The company cooperates with the Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC), a Swedish research center focused on new materials from the forest. The company is owned by around twenty researchers at WWSC, Stora Enso, FAM, Bergvik Skog, SweTree Technologies, KTH Holding and Chalmers Capital.