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Adrian Wilson

Editor's Viewpoint

22nd October 2018, Aachen

Strong potential in the furniture industry

A kick-off meeting for a new study on the potential of composites in the furniture industry will take place at Composites Europe in Stuttgart on Wednesday 7 November.

The study, led by the AZL (Aachen Centre for Integrative Lightweight Production) at RWTH Aachen University, will seek to establish an overview of the current market, as well as identifying future mass market applications for composites, and is open to all interested parties.

Composites offer design freedom and exceptional mechanical properties at low weight for furniture applications. © Klule/Unsplash

The design and function of furniture have undergone major changes in recent decades, the AZL notes – from handmade one-of-a-kind pieces to mass manufactured products and multi-functional and smart objects. There is also an increased diversity in terms of designs and the materials used – with high potential for composites to offer additional design freedom and exceptional mechanical properties at low weight.

The AZL is teaming up with companies from both the furniture and composites industries in order to fully break down the market by sectors and identify both design and technology trends and the technical requirements for success. The overall goal is to understand the selection process and needs of the furniture designer in order to bring composites to the market as a targeted alternative to established materials such as metal and wood.

Virginia Bozsak, composites technical manager composites at Arkema Innovative Chemistry, is participating in the study to identify specific applications in the furniture market for the company’s materials. © AZL Aachen

“The ever-growing population requires environmentally friendly materials and end of life solutions,” says Virginia Bozsak, composites technical manager at Arkema Innovative Chemistry, which is participating in the study. “For fast changing markets such as furniture, tmaterials also need to offer an enormous freedom of design. Arkema is already meeting these demands with products such as Elium – the only liquid thermoplastic employed as a thermoset resin to produce structural or aesthetic composite parts. In this study, we aim to identify specific applications in the furniture market to make use of materials which do not limit creativity or design specifications.”

The study will bring together material producers and technology suppliers with furniture manufacturers and designers. © AZL Aachen

More than 15 companies are already participating in the study and both material manufacturers and suppliers of composites will benefit from a market overview, including potential applications and through contact with end customers. Participating furniture designers and manufacturers will also get to know composite materials and technologies, including their design possibilities.

Further details

Study Kick-Off “Composites in the Furniture Industry”

New Study: Composites in Furniture

Project Description: Composites in the Furniture Industry

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