Winner of JEC Asia 2012 Innovation Award
Aditya Birla Chemicals Thailand- Epoxy Division has won the prestigious JEC Asia 2012 Innovation award 2012 in the Materials category for the project to develop particleboards, a wood composite from eco-friendly materials. The project was accomplished jointly with the Department of Forest Products, Kasetsart University, Bangkok and concerns development of particleboards using alternative, environment friendly materials which enable safe handling, reduced health risks and support conservation of natural resources compared to the conventional materials. Vetiver grass, a tropical plant grown in Thailand and surrounding regions was used instead of the natural wood based materials as reinforcement in combination with epoxy resin as the binder. The use of epoxy resin as a binder addressed the key issues with respect to safe handling, emissions and exposure to human beings observed for the formaldehyde and isocyanate binders. The epoxy resin developed for use as binder is non- hazardous, non-toxic formulation (LD50 (oral) > 5000 mg/kg, no prohibited risk phrase) and does not contain or liberates any volatile compounds & substances classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic and repro-toxic (CMR). Performance properties of the particleboards prepared from the new materials were tested according to the specifications of the Thailand Industrial Standards Institute (TISI) which indicated higher mechanical stiffness and relatively lower thickness swelling compared to the particleboards prepared from existing materials. The ease of raw materials availability, unchanged manufacturing process and cost economics confirms the commercial viability of the project and indicative of strong potential to replace the existing materials thus facilitating the growth of wood composite industry. The epoxy team is working with local wood industry to commercialize the product. The project illustrates the commitment of the company for collaborative work with academics in working for the betterment of society and environment. The award was given on the 26th June 12 during the JEC Asia exhibition at Singapore by Mr. Marut Jitpatima , Thai Ambassador to Singapore. About JEC group: The JEC group is the largest composites industry organization in the world with a network of 250,000 professionals. JEC represents, promotes and expands composites markets by providing global, local networking and information services. The JEC Innovation Awards Program is recognized as a leading tool in promoting composite innovations worldwide. The objective is to spot, promote and reward the most effective solutions that create more value for end-users.