Researcher Lars Wågberg, a professor in Fibre Technology at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology, said his wood-based foam material offers comparable properties to Styrofoam.
"It is from a totally renewable resource – something that we can produce from the forest," Wågberg said.
Trademarked under the name, Cellufoam, the material was developed by Wågberg together with Lennart Bergström, professor in Material Chemistry at Stockholm University, and Nicholas Tchang Cervin, a former PhD student at KTH, in theWallenberg Wood Science Center/
The helmet was produced by Cellutech, a Stockholm startup that specializes in, er, cutting edge materials made from wood.
The Cellutech helmet has an outer layer of veneer, the straps are made from extra strong paper, and the foam is made from cellulose fibres.
The production begins with wood cellulose nanofibres, or fibrils, which are modified and mixed with a foaming agent water and air. Through the process of Pickering stabilization, these particles stabilize the air-bubbles in a way that is much better than by using simple surfactants, he says.