As expensive hardwood becomes even more scarce, 3RT has been developing new manufacturing techniques with Flinders University at the Tonsley innovation district to turn wood waste into high-value hardwood products, known as 3Wood™.
By compressing cheap pulpwood, softwood or offcuts into blocks using lignocellulose manufacturing technology, this new innovation is creating sustainable commercial opportunities while offering consumers an affordable alternative.
Thanks to Flinders Centre for NanoScale Science & Technology Professor David Lewis’s polymer science skills and nanotechnology, 3Wood has added benefits of being termite-resistant and fire-retardant, and uses environmentally friendly resin. Other improvements such as UV light and water resistance are also being developed.
In addition, 3RT and Flinders University have been busy advancing the concept of strand woven bamboo, which achieves 2900 on the Janka Hardness Scale — significantly higher than popular hardwoods such as brazilian cherry wood, merbau, jarrah, hard maple and natural bamboo.
Managing Director Peter Torreele said negotiations are underway with potential partners with a view to commercial production beginning next year; and companies from around the world have been sending their wood samples for testing.
3RT is the first nanotechnology company in the wood industry. Its patented technology converts pulp logs into 3Wood™, a new wood that looks like tropical hardwood but with enhanced properties.
With on-site partnerships with Flinders University, Siemens and TAFE SA, 3RT showcases its technology and develops customised 3Wood products for its international customers in plug-and-play digital production units.
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