Rice husk and polymer composite wood alternative makes its way into laminates
MONTABAUR, Germany – Klöckner Pentaplast has introduced Pentadecor films made of Resysta, a rice husk and polymer composite film. It is anticipated the material could be put to use on exterior surfaces.
Resysta appeared in the U.S. market at the 2014 International Builders Show, where Westech Building Products launched TruGrain, a wood substitute based on Resysta. For that application the polymeric boards were extruded from a formula containing rice husks, mineral oil and salt.Resysta has gained some appeal for its green qualities. In addition to decking, Resysta materials for furniture, millwork and facades have been developed, including a Starbucks shop inManhattan.
The latest application of Resysta by Klockner is a film for laminate panel. It is less than one millimeter thick and can be laminated on a variety of surfaces. Klockner says its Pentadecor films made of Resysta meet a growing demand for durable materials for indoor and outdoor applications.  
For Resysta International GmbH, which owns the technology, it expands the applications further, as it targett the establishment of a sustainable and globally uniform material standard. Though Resysta machines similarly to wood, staining and finishing require material-specific approaches.

Resysta uses the rice husks because these are a natural waste product. It is extrudable, and is reported to be long-lasting, requiring low maintenance and is recyclable.
For consumers around the world, the question of whether or not products are manufactured sustainably is of great importance. At the same time, they expect high quality and aesthetic design.
“People expect a natural look that evokes a sense of well-being and comfort – whether relaxing inside their living-room, sitting outside in their garden, or in the outdoor area of a restaurant. That makes them feel more comfortable and relaxed,” Klöckner Pentaplast’s Group Director Development Packaging & Specialties EMEA and Asia Rainer Schlicht says. “This is why consumers prefer the look of wooden flooring and furniture.”
However, at the same time, they worldwide expect low-maintenance materials with high life expectancy that are weather- and water-resistant, especially in outdoor applications. Schlicht continues: “A further trend we see in the market is moving clearly towards smooth surfaces with individual designs and a focus on splinter-free, safe materials.”
Benefits all along the value chain
Axel Müller, Market Development Manager for Europe, Middle East and Asia at Klöckner Pentaplast, explains: “With our new film, we are setting standards in terms of quality and highest aesthetic demands.”
Pentadecor Films – made of Resysta are based on a renewable plant based material. Furthermore, they meet consumers’ demand for a natural appearance: they look and feel like high quality wood, while at the same time being weather- and water-resistant. Müller continues: “Responding to global megatrends, many manufacturers and retailers are rethinking how they do business: cost-cutting system solutions, lower stock keeping units and sustainable products are in demand. With Pentadecor® Films – made of Resysta we have the perfect answer – with new system designs and easy-to-store products.” In 2016 the film was awarded with the Red Dot, the international distinction for high design quality.
Successful collaboration leads to efficient manufacturing process
Today, consumers can choose between a broad variety of extruded Natural Fiber Composites (NFC) and Wood Plastic Composites (WPC) profiles. However, up to now, the production of films in 300-800μm thickness has not yet been possible due to the poor rheological behavior of highly filled compounds.
In close collaboration with Resysta, the producer of a rice husk-based PVC filler (ARF), the technology and innovation department of Klöckner Pentaplast came up with an appropriate solution. Resysta GmbH has been developing the PVC/rice husk composite Resysta for over 10 years and has made available composite solutions for a wide variety of PVC extrusion technologies worldwide. Rainer Schlicht sums up the outcome of the successful collaboration: “For Pentadecor Films – made of Resysta, we developed, optimized and patented a stable production process. Working as one team allowed us to create this innovative film within just one year.”
About Pentadecor films – made of Resysta
Developed both for indoor and outdoor applications, Pentadecor® Films – made of Resysta embodies the positive properties of its two material constituents. The thermoformable natural fiber filled film serves as a wood veneer or WPC alternative. The film – made from rice husks – helps to achieve sustainability goals.
Further high quality additives ensure maximum water and weather resistance, flexibility and robustness. In addition, it is sandable to a smooth wooden finish, and can be refined in a variety of colors. A direct pigment application on the surface ensures a long lasting UV-resistance. With this development in the field of natural fiber composites (NFC), the existing converting technologies (i.e. extrusion, injection molding, compression molding) were successfully extended to a new and patented calendering process. The film is available in reels and formats. Considering customers specific needs, further material developments and customization are possible.

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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.