MATERIAL EXPLORATION

Circular-economic and regenerative materials 

WHAT TO DO WITH WOOD WASTE FROM SAW-MILL PROCESSING?

 

According to several global studies, the waste created from sawmills amounts to anywhere from 30-50% of the total tree, and includes saw-dust, off-cuts, trims and shavings.

The amount of waste generated varies, depending on the industry, form of raw material and finished product, and is influenced by shape and size of timber and equipment.

 

Both throughout our studio classes at Parsons and independently, we’ve been addressing sawdust and off-cuts, imagining uses and processes in relation to house-hold product design and production (furniture, table-top items, packaging etc), primarily aimed for smaller sawmills looking for circular-economic recommendations. 

Regarding sawdust/shavings, we’ve investigated various castable compounds, or developing recipes for mycelium. 

For off-cuts we’ve examined the possibilities of combining smaller parts to make larger surfaces, or creating smaller saleable  products directly from the scraps. 

 

Below you can browse through our probes.

Note: as our other projects, this is all ‘work in progress’!

Sources:

J.H. Jenkins, The Forestry Chronicle, 1933. https://pubs.cif-ifc.org/doi/pdf/10.5558/tfc9011-3

Ogunwusi, A.A., ‘Wood Waste Generation in the Forest Industry in Nigeria and Prospects for Its Industrial Utilization’, 2014 , Civil and Environmental Research

https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/234677849.pdf

Kerbes and McIntosh, ‘Conversion of Trees to Finished Lumber - The Volume Losses’,  1969, The Forestry Chronicle, https://pubs.cif-ifc.org/doi/pdf/10.5558/tfc45348-5

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SAWDUST COMPOUNDS

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Tests with beeswax finish. 

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Tests without finish. 

Principal material researcher: Maryangela Sanchez Rocca.

Primary ingredients: Sawdust + Recycled paper pulp + Rice starch (+ beeswax)

Primary uses: Indoor furnishings.