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Not only can you eat popcorn, puffed corn can also be used in a completely different way. Pressed into special sheets, the maize product can be used in furniture construction, for example, or as a substitute for petroleum-based plastics as insulation and packaging material. Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Alireza Kharazipour, a working group at the University of Göttingen has been researching manufacturing processes for products made from popcorn for a long time. As a result of their work, a product from Karl Bachl GmbH & Co. KG was presented: Boards for building insulation. The working group “Chemistry and Process Engineering of Composite Materials” at the Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology had created the prerequisites for producing such popcorn insulation boards, which have excellent properties in terms of thermal insulation and good in terms of fire protection. “With this new process, which is based on the plastics industry, insulation boards can be produced cost-effectively on an industrial scale,” explained Prof. Kharazipour.

With the popcorn insulation boards, the BACHL Plastics Processing division is expanding its insulation portfolio with a sustainable material alternative. For this purpose, the company has concluded a licence agreement with the University of Göttingen for the commercial use of the manufacturing process developed there and the products for insulation. Michael Küblbeck, Managing Director of BACHL, commented: “For us, this is another important milestone in our strategic development towards becoming a holistic, cross-material insulation manufacturer. With the popcorn insulation, we perfectly round off our quality range and can thus respond even more specifically to the different requirements of the market and our customers.” According to Andreas Paul, Head of Application Technology and Product Development at BACHL, the new insulation material conserves resources and is characterised by durability, a wide range of applications, low weight, easy handling and low transport and energy costs. Industrial production of the popcorn insulation boards is scheduled to begin at BACHL in the course of the coming year.

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