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02-20-2013

Tiling system based on polylactide (PLA)

Ceramics Made from Renewable Resources

Tiling system based on polylactide (PLA)

Tiles, too, can be bio – if they are made from renewable resources. With this aim in mind, the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM, Halle, Germany, has developed a tiling system based on polylactide (PLA). The new tiles are more eco-friendly and lighter in weight than conventional ceramic materials. Their manufacturing process and material properties also make them more resource- and energy-efficient.

The bio-tiles consist of a mixture of linseed oil epoxy, various natural fibers, and diatomaceous earth, a material produced from fossilized diatoms. The new composite is not glass-hard and brittle like conventional epoxies but flexible and pliable. This makes it easier to work with the tiles.

These tiles also open up new architectural perspectives. In the molding process, they can be shaped to individual design requirements and even their patterns and colors can be individually customized. Another design option is to add fluorescent pigments to the blend, which transforms the tiles into lighting tiles. This means they can be used both indoors and outdoors on floors and walls as illuminated guideways. The bio-tiles can be installed indoors in kitchens and bathrooms and as floor coverings. They also provide good impact sound insulation in themselves, so enabling a whole operation to be eliminated from the production process.

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