Global materials consultancy Material ConneXion's 2nd-annual MEDIUM Award recognizes materials juried into the company’s Materials Library that demonstrate outstanding technological innovation and the potential to make a significant contribution to the advancement of design, industry, society and economy.
The Carbon Negative Cement by Novacem was recognized as a material innovation that will change the way we design.
"Our award for Material of the Year celebrates the power of material innovation to enhance the world in which we live—from our built environment to the designs that we interact with on a daily basis," said George M. Beylerian, Founder CEO of Material ConneXion.
"The year in material innovation reveals a continuing drive for sustainability," according to Dr. Andrew H. Dent, Material ConneXion’s Vice President, Library and Materials Research. "Whether it’s through a clever substitution of natural materials, improvements to existing ideas, or a manipulation of high-tech processes, these tougher economic times are seeing a turn to simple, creative and powerful innovations that will help lessen our impact on the planet.”
The Carbon Negative Cement reduces carbon emissions in the construction industry by replacing the calcium carbonates used in cement formulation with magnesium silicates, and by using a low-temperature production process that runs on biomass fuels. Novacem has developed a new class of cement that offers performance and cost parity with ordinary Portland Cement, but with a negative carbon footprint.
“Concrete constitutes the greatest amount of manmade material on this planet—one that is claimed to contribute to 5% of humanity’s carbon footprint,” said Dr. Dent. “With a simple change of ingredient, Novacem has achieved what could be one of the single largest reductions in CO2 emissions in construction to date. This carbon negative cement reduces carbon emissions of poured concrete from 800Kg emitted per ton to 50kg absorbed per ton.”
The nine honorable mentions from the US, Europe and Asia, represent some of the most important recent material developments on a global scale.
Among them are Dekodur’s ECO-HPL, the world’s first high-pressure laminate made without the use of phenol formaldehyde resins, and Blücher’s Saratech® Permasorb Wallpaper, a durable wall covering that removes toxins embedded in wall surfaces and safely contains these chemicals over time.
Great advances in sustainable packaging can be seen in materials like Evocative’s EcoCradle, a biodegradable alternative to polystyrene foam made from mushrooms grown with farm waste, and in Flextrus’ PaperLite®, a biodegradable paper alternative to plastic food containers. Also recognized is Henkel’s MiraFoil, a low-impact, liquid coating used to produce brilliant metallic effects on numerous types of packaging substrates.
Two honorable mentions are noted for helping to significantly increase sustainability and performance in plastic. MicroGREEN’s Ad-Air® is an innovative technology that utilizes waste CO2 to reduce the volume of plastic needed for packaging, and Milliken’s Hyperform is a breakthrough nucleation agent cited for its ability to create stronger, lighter and more recyclable commodity plastics.
Material ConneXion will mount an exhibition of the MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year 2010 winner and honorable mentions in its New York City showroom from March 15 – April 29, giving the public an opportunity to see the year in material innovation.