18. November 2015

Lower Austria Innovation Award 2015 for the "m.look" Non-flammable Laminate Board

The "m.look" non-flammable high-pressure laminate board developed by Kompetenzzentrum Holz (W3C section) in cooperation with the firm of FunderMax was awarded first prize at the Lower Austria Innovation Awards 2015 (Karl-Ritter-von-Ghega Award) as the overall winner.

The aim of this project was to develop a non-flammable, highly weather-resistant, decorative high-pressure laminate board for indoor and outdoor use. Conventional compact boards have the considerable advantage that they can be individually tailored to a particular decor in accordance with the customer's wishes. However, compact boards can be classified as fire class B (flame-retardant) at best. On the other hand, non-flammable materials in fire class A, such as glass and concrete, cannot be individually designed to match a particular decor. The architecture board m.look now unites freedom of design with maximum fire safety. On the one hand it makes surfaces possible that can be designed to match a wide range of decors according to customers' specifications, and on the other the newly developed technology means it attains the highest fire class according to the Austrian norm EN 13501, fire class A. The highly weather-resistant surface means it can be installed both indoors and outdoors, even in locations exposed to severe atmospheric influences.

To achieve fire class A (non-flammable), the fire load had to be reduced to an infinitesimal level. Compared to compact boards, the calorific value of m.look had to be reduced by 84% (from over 19 MJ/kg to under 3 MJ/kg).

To achieve this, the competence centre and its partner company FunderMax had to add new specialist skills such as glass mat technology, mat impregnation and fire classification to their existing expertise in the fields of resin engineering, paper impregnation and pressing technology. This made it possible to obtain maximum mechanical stability even under extreme thermal loads.

The combination of a surface that can be tailored to individual decors with the highest fire class opens up a new range of design possibilities for the user or customer. As a result, decorative elements can be added to buildings that must meet the most stringent legal fire safety requirements (such as highrises over 22 m and buildings such as railway stations, airports, schools and hospitals). At the same time, the customer need not miss out on the mechanical and chemical stability he knows and appreciates from compact boards, since m.look boards also provide him with outstanding resistance to atmospheric conditions and chemicals, mechanical stability and are easy to clean.

The merits of this product have now been recognized with the accolade as overall winner of the Lower Austria Innovation Award 2015 (Karl-Ritter-von-Ghega Award). The award ceremony took place on 10/11/2015 at Grafenegg Castle.

Photo 1: The "m.look" high pressure laminate board, winner of the Lower Austria Innovation Award, combines maximum fire safety with maximum design flexibility. Left to right: Alexandra Nemeth (Team Leader Laminates, Wood K plus), Patrick Domnanich (Team Leader R&D Laminates, FunderMax), Marion Drapela-Pasching (Head of R&D, QM Laminates, PD Laminates / Particle Boards, FunderMax), © www.foto-kraus.at

Photo 2: (Left to right): Sonja Zwazl (President of the Lower Austrian Economic Chamber), Patrick Domnanich (Team Leader R&D Laminates, FunderMax), Alexandra Nemeth (Team Leader Laminates, Wood K plus), Marion Drapela-Pasching (Head of R&D, QM Laminates, PD Laminates / Particle Boards, FunderMax), Petra Bohuslav (Lower Austrian Minister of Economy, Tourism and Sport), Johann Marchner (CEO, FunderMax). © WKNÖ/Wagner