Swedish design emblem Baux has a reputedly easy objective for its merchandise. Instead of mixing many uncooked fabrics to make its acoustic panels and wall coverings, the corporate needs to restrict itself to as few fabrics as imaginable. It’s striving for what cofounder and CEO Fredrik Franzon calls “monomateriality.”
Until now, this has been frustratingly sophisticated, however a brand new line of acoustic panels achieves the objective. Using recycled PET plastic to create a type of sound-absorbing felt, Baux has advanced a easy set of standalone acoustic panels which are necessarily manufactured from only one factor. Aesthetically, it’s a minimum design that provides firms a strategy to lend a hand divide rooms and cut back noise. Environmentally, it’s a single-material product that may be simply recycled on the finish of its lifestyles.
“This took a little bit of exercise in the manufacturing and some prototyping, and it wasn’t so easy,” says Franzon. “But it was important to us to keep one material and to avoid glue.”
Baux’s recycled plastic acoustic panels, which are available ground stand and desk-mounted fashions in 9 other sizes, soak up and deflect noise whilst serving to give plastic bottles and different PET-based merchandise a 2nd lifestyles. Typically, growing this kind of product will require a minimum of two fabrics—the felt or felt-like plastic and the glue to carry all of it in combination. But including a binding materials like glue makes it tricky and even unimaginable to recycle the ones fabrics down the road.
Baux’s resolution makes use of plastic as each the sound absorber and the binder. The new acoustic panels use about two-thirds qualified recycled PET. The different 3rd is virgin plastic that’s heated to bind the fabric into one cast shape. To flip this materials right into a felt-like panel, the recycled plastic is chipped into small flakes, melted down, and spun into fibers. The result’s a comfortable textile that each absorbs and displays sound.
Franzon says depending on some virgin plastic is lower than superb, but additionally higher than extra resource-intensive possible choices that also depend on glues or advanced production. Hemp, as an example, is a materials Baux hopes to make use of in the future, however the analysis continues to be underway to broaden an natural binding materials. “Sometimes, there are new, exciting materials coming up but what people don’t see is that the logistics and the handling and the cleaning of that material actually emits so much CO2 it’s not worth it,” he says. “Some innovations are great, but they’re only tested in a lab. In order to make change, we need to have some industrial process.”
Though it’s not able to make use of totally recycled plastic, the molding procedure Baux has advanced for this line of acoustic panels takes good thing about current provide chains for readily to be had recycled PET. Franzon says this provide chain has been suffering from the pandemic, however the plastic continues to be out there, and the ensuing panels are being totally recyclable. It’s a advantage of monomateriality that almost all different merchandise can’t but be offering.
“We need to see the whole chain,” Franzon says. “We need to take care of the circularity of the product.”