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FOAMWOOD: Foams Mimicking Wood

Updated: Jan 16

Foamwood project develops a novel method for manufacturing bio-based foams for the purpose of making laminated structures with extraordinary mechanical properties. The project combines the novel materials and development expertize on bio-based materials knowhow and foam physics of both VTT and Aalto. Specifically, the project aims to utilize modeling-based ideas in setting up the process and the materials rheology to speed-up the process development.

Main results

  • We have succeeded in manipulating the foam structure by deforming the bubbles and making them anisotropic in the wet state

  • We have prepared a rheological characterization protocol to characterize material properties that are meaningful for the process

  • We have found new recipes with improved foam rheology for our novel process leading to high air content and good bubble elongation

Publications (see also links below the news item)

  • Viitanen, L., Miranda-Valdez, I.Y., Koivisto, J., Puisto, A., and Alava, M. Thermal gelation of cellulose based suspensions. Cellulose, 30, 4215–4223 (2023).

  • Koochi, H., Mac Intyre, J., Viitanen, L., Puisto, A., Maleki-Jirsaraei, N., and Alava, M. Local time-dependent microstructure of aging TEMPO nanofibrillated cellulose gel. Cellulose, 30, 61–74 (2023).

  • Miranda-Valdez, I.Y., Viitanen, L., Mac Intyre, J.R., Puisto, A., Koivisto, J., and Alava M. Predicting effect of fibers on thermal gelation of methylcellulose using Bayesian optimization, Carbohydrate Polymers, 298, 119921 (2022).

  • Reichler, M., Rabensteiner, S., Törnblom, L., Coffeng, S., Viitanen, L., Jannuzzi, L., Mäkinen, T., Mac Intyre, J.R., Koivisto, J., Puisto, A., Alava, M. Scalable method for bio-based solid foams that mimic wood. Scientific Reports, 11, 24306 (2021).

  • Viitanen, L., Rheological properties of structured complex fluids, Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL THESES, 100/2022.

Research Project Managers


Project status

Funded by FinnCERES from January 2020 until December 2022.

Linked to foam research, a different kind of foam manufacturing technology has received Research to Business funding from Business Finland aiming to commercialization of the technology. Woamy, an Aalto University spin-out, aims to bring to the market a bio-based foam material to replace harmful plastic foams (read more).

In addition, related work has been supported by host organizations as well as e.g. Finnish Foundation for Technology Promotion.


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