Malama Composites launches biobased Studio biofoam line for film, stage, theme park artists and sculptors
From green surfboards, Malama has come a long way in developing biobased alternatives to polyurethanes.
Now the company launches biobased foams for stage sets, theme parks, museums and trade show displays.
In California, Malama Composites announced the launch of the first bio-based rigid polyurethane foam made specifically for artists, sculptors and the industrial design community.
“Our proprietary formulas utilize agriculturally grown, renewable polyols and water as the blowing agent,” stated David Saltman, CEO. “These new high performance two and four pound foams hand carve and machine shape accurately, surface beautifully, and generate no toxic emissions in the process.”
Malama Composites completed testing of Studio BioFoam among sculptors at the major motion picture studios and a number of the independent production companies. The foam is compatible with virtually all resins, glues, coatings and laminates. It is dimensionally stable under high temperature moisture conditions. It is safe to produce, superior to shape, and easy to recycle, making it an ideal light weight medium for stage sets, theme parks, retail environments, museum displays, trade show exhibits, and numerous industrial design applications.
The new YouTube video features artists Sean Hendry, Hannah Welter and Kevin Williams putting Studio BioFoam through a series of tests at Gothic Moon Studios in Southern California. During the filming Hendry stated, “The BioFoam outperformed competitive materials and exhibited no noxious odors or irritating dust commonly generated by other foams. Most importantly, it shaped and surfaced quickly and accurately, a must in our fast paced business.”
The company started back in 2005. As founder and COO Ned McMahon recalled on an Xconomy essay, “In December 2005, the biggest maker of polyurethane foam blanks used to make the core of surfboards (and other products) abruptly shut down—creating a huge void among Southern California surfboard makers and the composites industry.”
McMahon, and those who joined him, realized the potential to develop an alternative to the highly-toxic fiberglass composites business used for surfboards, sailboat hulls, and other products. Last year, CEO David Saltman led a $696K Series A equity financing.
Today, their products utilize polyols derived from soy, castor and other domestically grown plants. The manufacturing process generates no water pollution or toxic air emissions. Every pound of AinaCore sequesters 2.6 pounds of carbon.
More about Polyurethanes
Polyurethanes (commonly abbreviated PU or PUR) are a group of polymers formed by the reaction of di-isocyanates, which contain repeating urethane groups, hydroxyl compounds (polyols), and blowing agents. PUR foams can be rigid or flexible, and can take the form of fiber for clothing, rubber for shoes or skateboard wheels, protective coatings for wood or metal, rigid structural panels, or flexible foams used in mattresses and cushions.
Traditionally, PUR foams utilize toluene di-isocyanates for the A-side of the formulation. This petrochemical is a highly toxic organic compound with serious health risks. B-side polyols are derived from petroleum and releases volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere.
The Malama difference
Malama’s bio-based foams utilize stable, far less toxic methylene-based isocyanate (MDI) for the A-side, and polyols derived from plant-based renewable sources such as soy, castor, jatropha or even algae for the B-side. The resulting foams are dimensionally stable, do not off-gas during manufacturing or after inclusion in final products, and can be easily recycled.
Why an A-List product?
Performance. AinaCore’s high bending, sheer and impact strength, resulting in final products that perform better and last longer. Their consistent density and tight, uniform cellular structure machines accurately and surfaces beautifully. AinaCore’s high moisture resistance and dimensional stability assures greater product longevity and lower maintenance costs. High R value and heat resistance makes the product ideal for the insulation of homes and buildings, as well as for and mobile and stationary refrigeration units, and advanced packaging applications.