Material ConneXion Announces its MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year

Material ConneXion Announces its MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year

Material ConneXion announced Novacem's Carbon Negative Cement as the winner of its second annual MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year. The award recognizes materials juried into the company's Materials Library in 2010 that demonstrate outstanding technological innovation and the potential to make a significant contribution to the advancement of design, industry, society and economy. In addition to Novacem's Carbon Negative Cement, the company recognized nine honorable mentions as exemplary material innovations that will change the way we design in 2011-from product and packaging to architecture.

"The year in material innovation reveals a continuing drive for sustainability," commented Dr. Andrew H. Dent, Material ConneXion's Vice President, Library and Materials Research. "Whether it's through a clever substitution of natural materials, improvements to existing ideas, or a manipulation of high-tech processes, these tougher economic times are seeing a turn to simple, creative and powerful innovations that will help lessen our impact on the planet."

Novacem's Carbon Negative Cement - a revolutionary solution to reducing carbon emissions in the construction industry - is one outcome of this movement with extraordinary, far-reaching effects. By replacing the calcium carbonates used in cement formulation with magnesium silicates, and by using a low-temperature production process that runs on biomass fuels, Novacem has developed a new class of cement that offers performance and cost parity with ordinary Portland Cement, but with a negative carbon footprint.

"Concrete constitutes the greatest amount of manmade material on this planet-one that is claimed to contribute to 5% of humanity's carbon footprint," said Dr. Dent. "With a simple change of ingredient, Novacem has achieved what could be one of the single largest reductions in CO2 emissions in construction to date. This carbon negative cement reduces carbon emissions of poured concrete from 800Kg emitted per ton to 50kg absorbed per ton."

The nine honorable mentions, which hail from the US, Europe and Asia, represent some of the most important recent material developments on a global scale. Together, they promise to increase sustainability across a wide range of industries, from products and packaging to architecture.

Material ConneXion will mount an exhibition of the MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year 2010 winner and honorable mentions in its New York City showroom from March 15 - April 29, 2011, giving the public an opportunity to see the year in material innovation.

Material of the Year 2010 Honorable Mentions

Ad-Air, MicroGREEN, USA
A process that utilizes waste C02 to reduce the volume of plastic. By injecting polymer sheets with waste C02, then precisely manipulating the size and density of the gas bubbles, Ad-Air expands sheets of plastic to double the thickness while reducing density by 20%. The strength and surface integrity of the plastic is maintained, but material usage per given need is ultimately reduced as much as three times.

EcoCradle, Ecovative, USA
A packaging replacement to polystyrene foam that is grown from mushrooms. EcoCradle is a radically new approach to packaging that is grown, not manufactured. This biodegradable, compostable solution utilizes agricultural waste to grow fungal mycelium, the roots of mushrooms, into a safe, protective packaging material.

ECOR, Noble Environmental Technologies, USA
Construction panels made from cow manure and other recycled content. ECOR, a line of low-weight, construction panels made with bovine processed fiber and post-consumer waste, offers an energy-efficient, sustainable means of producing furniture, displays, signage and numerous other products and designs.

ECO-HPL, Dekodur, Germany
The world's first high-pressure laminate made without the use of phenol formaldehyde resins. Unlike traditional HPLs, this carbon neutral product can be recycled back into more laminate at the end of its life. The material can significantly improve sustainability in interiors, furniture production and transportation design.

Hyperform, Milliken Chemical, USA
An additive for creating stronger, lighter and more recyclable plastics. Developed specifically for polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), Hyperform is a breakthrough nucleation agent with the ability to increase durability, sustainability and performance in our packaging and products.

Lumisys, Top Nanosys, Korea
Flexible, transparent LED Signboard. Lumisys demonstrates a pioneering use of carbon nanotubes to achieve a level of transparency and flexibility never before seen in the lighting and signage industry. The product makes it possible to achieve dramatic visual effects in signage and consumer electronics while taking advantage of the low-energy, long-lasting performance benefits of LEDs.

MiraFoil, Henkel, Germany/USA
A low-impact printing solution for achieving metallic effects. Long used to distinguish products in a crowded marketplace, metallic effects are used on everything from retail packaging to POP displays. While other techniques used to achieve this look render the packaging material unrecyclable, MiraFoil is a VOC-free coating that can be removed through the de-inking process, enabling the paper or polymer to which it is applied to used again.

PaperLite, Flextrus, Sweden
A biodegradable paper alternative to traditional plastic food packaging. PaperLite is a new solution for protecting perishable foods and industrial products. The material contains no iso-cynates or solvents, is FDA approved, and can be used to contain meats, cheeses, electronics, ink cartridges and other products that require a pack material that provides durability, toughness and optimal barrier protection.

Saratech Permasorb Wallpaper, Blucher, Germany
Air-purifying Wallpaper. Saratech Permasorb Wallpaper is an ingenious solution for combating air pollution in contaminated buildings. The durable covering removes toxins embedded in wall surfaces, like PCBs, PCP, pesticides and radon, and safely contains these chemicals over time.