ETRONIT AND GREENBONDTM
Written by Erik Sorensen Ruiz
January 11th – 2021.
Almost a year ago, Modulex Billund launched Etronit and GreenBondTM as the green alternatives to acrylics and aluminium composites (ACMs). A lot has been spoken about them, but do you know the full story behind them?
How it all started.
Kim Pedersen, Modulex Billund’s managing director, started a search for new green materials to replace ACMs and acrylics over 9 years ago. This quest for better options was motivated by the negative environmental impact of these materials due to their intensive manufacturing process and limitations at recycling stage. Yet, their popularity in signage, especially that of ACMs, made them ideal candidates to be replaced sustainable alternatives.
After searching material libraries across Europe without success, Modulex Billund entered a collaboration with a local Danish manufacturer of high-pressure paper composites, to develop Etronit and GreenBondTM. The result were two paper-based signage materials with broad graphical possibilities and durability, which successfully managed to cut by half its carbon footprints compared to ACMs and acrylics.
What are they and where do they come from?
Etronit and GreenBondTM are made from paper laminates and synthetic resin which are put together under heat and pressure, GreenBondTM additionally includes two outer layers of polyester which make it resemble the look of ACMs.
The paper used to make Etronit and GreenBondTM is sourced from Finland, where it is manufactured from sawdust pulp and recycled paper fibres. Recycled fibres make up a minimum of 20 % of the composition and are collected in a local recycling plant where old paper and wood products are recycled, and fibres are carefully selected to make the kraft paper. The sawdust pulp – which is FSC®-mix and PEFCTM certified – is supplied from the manufacturers’ sawmill and other industrial sawmills in the region. This sawdust is generated as waste from the logging industry which means that no tree harvesting is carried out specifically for the paper used to make Etronit and GreenBondTM.
Etronit & GreenBondTM are generated as a by-product from another industry’s waste. Giving value to fibres and wood dust that would otherwise be discarded as waste, we help close the materials loop. By using other industry’s waste to generate value in our own, Etronit and GreenBondTM effectively support a circular economy.
In order to assess their environmental impact, Teknologisk Institute in Denmark carried out a carbon screening study comparing the two new materials to aluminium, acrylics and ACMs. The results were positive: Both products have a carbon footprint 41 % lower than aluminium composites and 53 % lower than acrylics. Even aluminium, which is known for its recycling potential, has a carbon footprint 25 % higher than Etronit and GreenBondTM.
These two new products cover a huge gap in the signage markets by offering greener alternatives to ACMs and acrylics, whilst offering high-end and versatile graphical possibilities. Rarely known to other sign manufacturers, these materials offer a huge opportunity.
Want to know more about them ? Contact Erik Sørensen Ruiz at [email protected] for more information.