Wood foam

Nowadays almost every owner of a residential premise knows that using heat insulation in construction of buildings allows reducing expenses for electricity and / or gas used for premises heating essentially. The most popular heat insulating material is deemed to be foam cellular plastic. It has all necessary peculiarities – its low cost of production determines low price for an ultimate consumer and simplicity of laying to the surface reduces expenses when assembled. But this material does not have the highest level of ecological properties, it is not resistant to high temperatures and attacks of rodents. Moreover, we should have in mind that foam cellular plastic is made of oil waste, so it is difficult to create a healthy microclimate in the premise when using such heat insulation, and requirements to ecological safety of heat insulation are growing.

On the market of construction materials for a long time there was no heat insulating material that could conform to the high standards of ecological compatibility and efficiency. German scientists from Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM for a long time have been researching the properties of wood, its interacting with other components. As a result of their experiments they developed a method of creation insulation foam of wood components – “foamed wood”.

penaA new insulant is made of natural wood and gas. At the first stage wood should be carefully ground to make viscous and mucous solution. Later they add gas into the solution which when reacting with wood turns slime into some foam.

Laboratory study of the material after its solidification proves its safety for human health. As a final result we receive a quite close material with vesicular structure from mixture of gas and wood. Specialists have found that a new material has bad diathermancy and conforms to all construction standards established for heat insulation. Industry can produce this material in two basic variants: either rigid slabs of high density or flexible mates.

Among obvious advantages of such heat insulation we should point out the high solidity and water resistance which is very important (it is well known that moister in the material increases its diathermancy). Recoverability of a foam material is a good quality – it can keep its original form after long time of service, it can be polished and treated chemically along with usual insulation foam.

Presently the scientists of Fraunhofer IFAM are working on new qualities of this material as well as on improving of existing positive characteristics. There is no doubt that the new heat insulation will take front positions on the construction market due to its safety for human health.