Recycled, Rigid Board Material for Furniture, Product Design and Architecture: X-Board

materials monday xboard

Ever wonder why IKEA furniture is so light? Want to know what’s inside a hollow core door you might find at Lowe’s or Home Depot? In the production process, many manufacturers of inexpensive furniture will add a structural core of paper or fiberboard support. X-Board is a material which is comes in sheet form employing this construction method. It’s composed of recycled honeycomb material which is sandwiched between two layers of thick paper. When the seemingly flexible and flimsy core material is adhered to the paper surfaces, it gives the material structure and incredible rigidity.

x-board demo

Who uses it?
Some companies are using X-Board to create cabinetry and furniture for homes. For the industrial design and architecture industries, X-Board works as a light alternative to MDF (medium density fiberboard) or plywood. It can be faced with wood veneer or even plywood for maximum durability and strength. It’s being used for trade show exhibits, shelving, cases, desks, tables, and filing cabinets. It’s also used as a construction material for walls and lightweight bulkheads in residential, commercial and office buildings.

table made from x-board

The story behind Xanita
The environmental entrepreneurs who started Xanita were inspired by seeing large bales of post-consumer recycled paper waste. They realized the opportunity to design and manufacture a board material which would be environmentally friendly. Xanita, makers of X-board, manufacture a comprehensive range of environmentally friendly, cellulose fiber-based rigid boards and roll-goods. All of their products are made from post-consumer, recycled paper waste.

x-board table prototype

Why is it environmentally friendly?
Xanita's rigid boards are designed to replace formaldehyde-based furniture and construction boards, typically including MDF and particle board products which contain formaldehyde (which is a bad thing). Xanita boards are a replacement for petroleum-based PVC materials, polypropylene, polystyrene and ABS sheeting. These materials are what typically get used for in advertising, point of purchase displays, and architectural construction.

x-board table

Are there an disadvantages to keep in mind?
For some designers, the lightness of the board is a downside. We think this is an attribute which can save companies money if they are transporting their design. When shipping large items by freight, the cost of transportation is calculated by the weight of the shipment. The use of this product will significantly cut down on the costs of shipping. X-Board is currently being used in the fabrication of modular homes and boat interiors to save on weight without sacrificing durability. If designers and architects can utilize the materials’ great strength to weight ratio, it can come as a great advantage.

Want to learn more about it? Read Ecolect's profile of X-Board.

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Materials Monday is a weekly column written by Matt Grigsby, CEO & Co-founder of Ecolect, where you can discover more about this and other green materials.

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