Materials: get set, get smart


This month’s selection of new materials, presented by Annabelle Filer of SCIN, includes a smart textile for clothing that aids athletes to work out in comfort while tracking their performance


Intexar
Electronic ink and film smart clothing

The background
DuPont Intexar is a revolutionary electronic ink and film that seamlessly transforms fabric into smart clothing for multiple applications. Created to enhance user performance and advance reliable brands, Intexar offers the possibility of easily integrating technology and design.

The material
Intexar is an extremely thin, and stretchable fabric that aims to produce comfortable smart clothing. There are no wires or cables integrated into the fabric so it can be easily transformed into wearable fashion. DuPont Intexar can monitor statistics even when stretched, so athletes can track performance without worrying about damaging the technology. This material can endure in excess of 100 wash and dry cycles and can be treated like any other piece of athletic wear. The wonderful paradox is the propensity to derive such a smart piece of technology from what we see and can wear as a traditional durable textile.

The advantage
DuPont Intexar is first-to-market technology that completely changes the wearable industry. It eliminates the bulk that makes other types of wearable tech uncomfortable and allows athletes to work out comfortably as they track their progress and performance.

electronicmaterials.dupont.com


3M
Reflective Carbon Scotchlite

The background
This 3M innovation is a material that is designed to enhance visibility in low light and night-time conditions. The patented Carbon Black technology offers a rich, deep-black colour, a high level of reflectivity and colour durability.

The material
Carbon Scotchlite is a unique reflective film that contains a stretchy polyurethane adhesive. This is why it has a high stretch capacity in all directions, which recovers its original shape easily. It resists cracking and over time maintains a glossy look and feel. It enhances visibility when illuminated and makes an impactful statement when transitioning from unlit black to illuminated bright. This material was designed to be applied on active and performance wear, with Carbon Scotchlite including an integrated technology that helps with stain resistance and colour retention.

This Carbon Black Transfer Film combines amazing attributes into one patented reflective material, delivering design flexibility, visibility and product performance for those with active and dynamic lifestyles.

The advantage
The Carbon Black Stretch Transfer Film from 3M Scotchlite is the deepest black and highest stretch reflective material it has ever made, in combination with the brightness that comes from Scotchlite reflective material.

3m.com


Rockpanel
Chamaleon facade panels

The background
Rockpanel sets out to create a wall cladding that is never the same. The colours and tones of its surface change depending on the angle or the perspective from which it is viewed. Affected by both natural and artificial light, the results are ever changing and always inspiring.

The material
The Rockpanel Chameleon boards are produced from compressed natural basalt, a sustainable and readily available volcanic rock, and bonded with an organic binder from which all Rockpanel products derive their unique properties. The products combine the durability of stone and the workability of wood. The panels are suitable for exterior cladding, roof lines and building detailing.

The external cladding boards are treated with a four-layer, water-based, high-quality coating that locks in their appearance, colour and finish for long-term use. The range is also finished with a protective ProtectPlus layer.

The advantage
The Chamaleon panels are self cleaning and dirt resistant, and because of their UV-blocking property will not loose colour over time, so they should age well. Furthermore, they are anti-graffiti, and are easy to maintain.

rockpanel.com


Adam Davies
Seaweed composite

The background
The research for the development of this material aims to explore the possibilities of utilising a natural, abundant and sustainable material such as seaweed, through an experimental exploration into materials and processes. The intention is to limit and reduce the negative impact that our current design practices have on the environment.

The material
Seaweed composite is formed by combining seaweed with recycled waste paper. It is tough and durable with a texture similar to that of cork. It is highly tactile, possessing natural warmth, with a subtle smell that hints of the sea. The differentiation in colour is achieved by altering the type of seaweed, and it can be customised with the different characteristics the designer is looking for. The seaweed is harvested from the coast of Pembrokeshire, with the natural material and landscape inspiring the creation of the final product. The composite has been used to make lamps, and vessels of different shapes and sizes.

The advantage
Adam Davies has created a biomaterial, which is 100 per cent sustainable and adds value to environment, rather than degrading it. Here lies the beauty of the concept: there no longer needs to be friction between design and the environment. Instead, design can live holistically with the natural ecosystem, with products returned to the innate cycle of local environments from which it was produced.

adamdaviesdesign.co.uk


Iwan Pol
Happy Concrete

The background
Concrete can be produced into almost any shape or form the designer wants, so why does it always look cold and hard? Iwan Pol, the designer behind Happy Concrete, produces soft and colourful concrete panels that offer new aesthetic possibilities for buildings and interiors.

The material
Happy Concrete challenges the traditional preconceptions of concrete. The panels can be used to clad buildings in a textured, tactile skin to be engaged with by passers-by. The panels are modular and can easily be applied to most surfaces. By experimenting with various pigments and pouring techniques Pol has created panels with curves, bumps and a unique organic feel.

The advantage
Happy Concrete offers a sensorial experience that is unexpected in concrete. Pol has managed to challenge the idea of concrete and the way it should look, allowing for exciting and engaging uses in architecture and design.

iwanpol.com


Malai 
Vegan leather

The background
Malai is a newly developed bio composite material made from entirely organic and sustainable bacterial cellulose, grown on agricultural waste sourced from the coconut industry in southern India.

The material
Malai is a vegan bio composite that is flexible and durable, with a haptic comparable to leather or paper. The word ‘malai’ refers to the creamy flesh of the coconut. Malai the company works with local farmers and processing units, collecting their waste coconut water and repurposing it to feed bacteria, which in turn is collected and refined until it becomes the finished material, also called Malai. This intelligent new use for the excessive coconut water similarly removes the destruction caused to the soil when is usually dumped into the ground. This vegan ‘leather’ is water resistant and because it contains absolutely no artificial additives will not cause any allergies, intolerances or illness. In fact, the claim is it could be eaten. Malai is produced in sheets of varying thicknesses, and the company has also developed a process to produce seamless three-dimensional objects using a moulding technique. Malai is produced in a range of colours using mordant-free natural dyes, and it ages gracefully, developing a soft sheen/patina over time, similar to leather.

The advantage
A product made from Malai will last many years if properly cared for, but if it is discarded it can simply be placed in with compostable rubbish and it will naturally break down and biodegrade.

made-from-malai.com


EzoBord
Acoustic

The background
There are approximately 100 billion water bottles used around the world each year, and only about a third of those get recycled. The rest end up in landfills, littered on the streets, or floating in the oceans. To help in the life cycle of this plastic product, EzoBord has developed a material that is made recycling these PET bottles.

The material
EzoBord is a highly adaptable acoustical panel material made with recycled water bottles. It is flexible, decorative, moldable, tackable, sound dampening and extremely easy to install. The versatility of these boards will inspire designers and architects as they create office partitions, desk screens, workstation tiles, tack boards and wall panels. EzoBord is not only beautiful but its sound absorption averages NRC 0.75 (50mm air gap) 1.0 NRC in mid-high frequencies, meeting the most demanding ceiling acoustic needs. It is lightweight and easy to make into any shape and form, making the application possibilities of EzoBoard practically limitless.

The advantage
EzoBord is an environmentally friendly, sustainable and waste-reduced alternative to traditional acoustic materials, plus it looks great in any office, education or open-space installation.

ezobord.com


Meystyle
OLED Wallpaper

The background
After 14 years of pioneering the world’s first LED wallpaper, technology has finally caught up with the ambitions of this studio created by sisters Maria and Ekaterina Yaschuk, allowing them to create OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) wallpaper in collaboration with LG Display.

The material
Meystyle uses digital printing to transfer designs to a variety of non-woven substrates suitable for wall covering. The OLED light is then incorporated by hand with a special technique that avoids adding any thickness to the material. The wallpaper is then applied in a traditional manner, with the exception of a requirement for a power supply. The paper has deep textural patterns and is a glamorous and striking addition to any interior, particularly when illuminated. This is wallpaper produced by creatives that will be fully embraced by technologists.

The advantage
OLED is an organic material-based surface light source. It has the spectral power distribution closest to natural light, compared to all other high-efficiency light sources. OLED creates a light that is soothing and brings light to places where a natural source is not available.

meystyle.com





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