Material of the Month, April 2015: Biofoam

Material of the Month, April 2015: Biofoam

Posted Last Thursday by Angelique Blankson

Biofoam is a biodegradable alternative to conventional expandable polystyrene (EPS) and PU materials used in protective packaging. Its raw material consists of biopolymers (PLA) based on renewable sources that make it the first foam to be petroleum and chemical free.

What can Biofoam be used for?

Biofoam can be industrially composted at high temperatures under the influence of moisture and bacteria. It is cradle-to-cradle (C2C) certified and has been awarded with various national and international innovation awards. It appears lightweight but is a strong solid foam with uniform cell structures and a non-yellowing homogenous surface.

Due to its thermal properties, this material has been used to produce temperature-controlled packaging for sensitive products that need to stay cool – for example, medical and biological substances, food and flowers.

Its sustainable properties also make it ideal for other applications including panels for room insulation and horticulture.

Although the first prototypes of Biofoam were produced in 2009, researchers are working on improvements in the material such as making the foam even lighter, and making the products more thermally stable.