Geolam® technology, developed 30 years ago in
Japan, is a patented process and product technology.
One of the biggest obstacles in manufacturing wood-plastic composite is removing moisture from the wood fibers. Wood and petroleum-based thermoplastics, i.e. oil and water, do not adhere to one another naturally. Many wood-plastic composite manufacturers dry their wood flour to 0.5% to 3.0% moisture content. The effect of this is that the two materials do not bond in the extruder; rather they co-exist in the final product. In addition, wood acid can be created from this moisture leading to a product that is structurally weaker and less durable.
Process flow of Geolam® manufacturing
We reduce the moisture content of the wood fibers used to 0%
Geolam® technology embraces a patented process in which wood fibers are added to a high intensity mixer. The fibers are dried through a friction process incorporating a special mixer blade design. Once all moisture has been driven out of the wood, a thermoplastic is added along with a special reinforcing agent. The plastic is then literally beaten into the cells or tracheids of the wood, this being only possible because the wood contains no moisture. This creates an entirely new material, neither wood nor plastic, rather a fully integrated composite. This is why Geolam® is physically stronger and more stable in terms of its dimensions than any other wood-fiber composite product. Furthermore, since the wood actually surrounds the plastic, the finished product looks and feels like natural wood. This natural wood-like look and feel is also made possible because of the high wood content of the compound. Wood fibers are mixed with thermoplastics at an 8:1 volume ratio of wood to plastic (52% wood / 30% polypropylene and 18% other e.g. stabilizers, pigment, etc. by weight). Since the majority of the compound is wood, the product naturally takes on the characteristics of hardwood.