By the Time We Got to Woodstalk: Materials Monthly

We are like a kid getting a present when our Materials Monthly arrives. The last few have been interesting but not particularly Treehugger. This month, Jennifer Siegel makes up for it in spades. All have been alluded to or covered in these pages before but could use a reminder.

Medite looks,feels and works like MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) , but is made from 100% post-industrial recycled wood fibre combined with wax and resin and absolutely no formaldehyde binders and no outgassing. Not the most exciting material in the world, but MDF is the workhorse of the millwork industry and it is great to be able to source a recycled formaldehyde free one. Justin mentioned it in a post on bamboo beds. ::Medite

We have written of Kirei, the elegant Japanese Sorghum based board, here and here. ::Kireiusa

We are suprised that we have not written about Woodstalk before, given that we have had a coaster made from it on our desk for about a year. Chaff and stalk from Manitoba's wheat fields, which was formerly burned, is dried, chopped, and bound with a formaldehyde-free polyurethane bonding agent to make panesl that can be used as a lighter, better performing, sustainable substitute for particleboard and MDF. John Laumer mentioned it here in a post about Columbia Forest Products.

Unfortunately, when we get to the Woodstalk site, we find it has been discontinued. "While Dow BioProducts refined the manufacturing process and improved the quality of the product over the past five years, the demand in the marketplace for a high-quality, low VOC fiberboard product was not at a level high enough to generate the returns necessary to sustain the business. This, coupled with higher operating costs due to increased natural gas and oil prices and overall costs of doing business, made it ever more difficult to justify continued operation of the business and the plant." (::Dow Bioproducts) We thought this a wonderful product and looked forward to using it. Architects and designers out there, if we don't demand low VOC sustainable products, nobody is going to make them. ::Materials Monthly

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