Making furniture with paper machines

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and ISKU, a leading Finnish furniture manufacturer, have together created a novel bio-composite chair. It is the world’s first such innovation that utilises foam forming technology, combines natural cellulose fibres, wood pulp and thermos-plastic components.

Representing a sustainable alternative for furniture design, the chair is the result of a HiPer project financed by Business Finland.

It showcases the potential of bio-composite materials and is made from a cellulose-plastic compound that uses natural annual fibres, polypropylene and wood pulp from Finnish forests as raw materials.

It has a sleek and modern appearance that highlights the natural texture and colour of the bio-composite material, which was produced by VTT using foam forming technology, which was originally developed for paper making.

The process allows for high-volume and cost-efficient production and provides nearly limitless options for product customisation. Unlike conventional methods, it maintains fibre properties and can get full reinforcing potential.

The material has excellent mechanical properties and can be 3D moulded into challenging shapes, making it optimal for lightweight structures. The thermos-plastic composite can also be worked on with ordinary woodworking tools, making it a great drop-in solution for the furniture industry.

The chair is durable, lightweight, and easy to assemble. The bio-composite material can be recycled at the end of its life cycle, reducing the environmental impact of furniture waste. 

The bio-composite material can be used to create various shapes and forms and can be combined with materials such as metal or wood. The material also has potential for other applications, such as packaging, consumer goods and construction.

VTT is actively working with partners to build a strong value chain for commercial exploitation in the coming years. For more information, write to



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