Wood Plasticized as Lightweight Panel at Ligna 2013

Posted by Bill Esler | Posted: 02/14/2013 10:20PM


BASF has developed a technology for plasticizing lightweight wood panel material for case goods, cabinetry and furniture: Kaurit Light. Wood-based panels made with the new technology weigh 30 percent less than conventional particleboard while offering the same strength, says BASF.

Kaurit Light panels consist of wood chips, a foamed polymer and Kaurit glue.

With Kaurit Light, about 200 kilograms (441 lbs.) of wood per cubic meter (35 cubic feet) of wood-based panel are replaced by 15 to 25 kilograms (about 45 lbs.) of polymer.

The polymer is added in the form of foam beads only in the middle layer. Although the panel now incorporates much more air, BASF's development scientists have succeeded in achieving practically the same strength as with conventional particleboard.

The result is a  wood-based panel that now weighs only 450 kilograms (1,000 lbs.)  per cubic meter one-third less than standard particleboard. BASF says the more lightweight particleboard has been tested for strength by major global hardware manufacturers, and that it meets environmental recyclability criteria similar to conventional particleboard.

BASF's information page for Ligna 2013 indicates it will be showing lightweight panel technology from its inorganics group.



About the Author

Bill Esler, Woodworking Network, WMS

Bill Esler

Bill Esler, Editorial Director, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for overall content at WoodworkingNetwork.com Woodworking Network magazine, and related newsletters. Bill also manages event programs for Woodworking Network Live conferences at the Woodworking Machinery & Supplies Expo in Toronto and Cabinets & Closets Expo. He developing audience engagement programs using custom digital printing, live lead-generating events, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at besler@woodworkingnetwork.com or follow him on Google+.

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Fellow Woodworker    
USA  |  February, 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Why would woodworkers who love wood, love craftsmanship want to work with more chemicals? Why would we want to subject our clients to more glue and polymers? Why would we want to use a product that makes it difficult to use fasteners and joinery? If you want our attention promote "green" healthy natural products. This is what our clients demand, this is what the planet requires and this is what woodworkers / cabinetmakers want to remain healthy in the workplace

texas, usa  |  February, 22, 2013 at 06:24 AM

whats' new? this is just like ikeas' material that they have been using for more than 10 years. There is no way to repair this stuff once it is broken. The idea is great, but lightweight panels like this need more strength.

Ed Strahota    
Mendota, IL  |  May, 01, 2013 at 07:47 AM

I'm very open to the technology, especially if this can be a "post-consumer" additive, as long as the strength characteristics are not compromised. We need solid areas to use recycled waste product. Does anyone know if this is post-consumer or virgin chemicals?


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