MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year
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Material ConneXion Announces its
MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year 2010

Novacem's Carbon Negative Cement chosen as winner

Exhibition of Award Winner and 9 Honorable Mentions to Showcase the Year in Material Innovation at Material ConneXion from March 16 - April 29, 2011

New York, NY, February 4, 2011 Global materials consultancy Material ConneXion announces Novacem’s Carbon Negative Cement as the winner of its second annual MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year.  The award recognizes materials juried into the company’s Materials Library in 2010 that demonstrate outstanding technological innovation and the potential to make a significant contribution to the advancement of design, industry, society and economy.  In addition to Novacem’s Carbon Negative Cement, the company is recognizing nine honorable mentions as exemplary material innovations that will change the way we design in 2011—from product and packaging to architecture.

"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.

According to Dr. Andrew H. Dent, Material ConneXion’s Vice President, Library and Materials Research, “The year in material innovation reveals a continuing drive for sustainability. 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.”

Novacem’s Carbon Negative Cement—a revolutionary solution to reducing carbon emissions in the construction industry—is one outcome of this movement with extraordinary, far-reaching effects.  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.”

As the world’s leading global materials consultancy and library, Material ConneXion has unparalleled insight into the materials, processes and emerging technologies that are having the greatest impact on design worldwide.  The nine honorable mentions, which hail from the US, Europe and Asia, represent some of the most important recent material developments on a global scale.  Together, they promise to increase sustainability across a wide range of industries, from products and packaging to architecture.

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 significant 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.  

Other solutions promise to lower environmental impact in our products, display systems and signage. Top Nanosys’ Lumisys™ demonstrates a pioneering use of carbon nanotubes to achieve transparent, flexible LED signboard—an innovation that allows for greater efficiency and aesthetic capabilities in advertising and electronics. There is also ECOR™, by Noble Environmental Technologies, a new line of advanced environmental composites made from recycled materials (such as cow manure and old newspapers) that can be used to make furniture, toys and a host of other products.

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 16 – April 29, 2011, giving the public an opportunity to see the year in material innovation.

For high-resolution images and additional information please contact:

Sarah Natkins, Director of Marketing & Communications, Material ConneXion                                  E. T.

MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year 2010

Carbon Negative Cement (Novacem, United Kingdom) is a revolutionary solution to reducing carbon emissions in the cement industry.  By replacing calcium carbonates used in cement formulation with magnesium silicates, and by using a low-temperature production process that employs biomass fuels, Novacem has achieved an alternative to poured concrete that offers the same performance and cost benefits as ordinary Portland cement but with a negative carbon footprint.
Material of the Year 2010 Honorable Mentions

Ad-Air® (MicroGREEN, USA)

A process that utilizes waste C02 to reduce the volume of plastic. By injecting polymer sheets with waste C02, then precisely manipulating the size and density of the gas bubbles, Ad-Air expands sheets of plastic to double the thickness while reducing density by 20%. The strength and surface integrity of the plastic is maintained, but material usage per given need is ultimately reduced as much as three times.

EcoCradle (Ecovative, USA)

A packaging replacement to polystyrene foam that is grown from mushrooms.
EcoCradle is a radically new approach to packaging that is grown, not manufactured. This biodegradable, compostable solution utilizes agricultural waste to grow fungal mycelium, the roots of mushrooms, into a safe, protective packaging material.

ECOR™ (Noble Environmental Technologies, USA)

Construction panels made from cow manure and other recycled content. ECOR, a line of low-weight, construction panels made with bovine processed fiber and post-consumer waste, offers an energy-efficient, sustainable means of producing furniture, displays, signage and numerous other products and designs.

ECO-HPL (Dekodur, Germany)

The world’s first high-pressure laminate made without the use of phenol formaldehyde resins. Unlike traditional HPLs, this carbon neutral product can be recycled back into more laminate at the end of its life. The material can significantly improve sustainability in interiors, furniture production and transportation design.

Hyperfor (Milliken Chemical, USA)

An additive for creating stronger, lighter and more recyclable plastics.
Developed specifically for polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), Hyperform is a breakthrough nucleation agent that offers the potential to increase durability, sustainability and performance in our packaging and products.

Lumisys (Top Nanosys, Korea)

Flexible, transparent LED Signboard. Lumisys demonstrates a pioneering use of carbon nanotubes to achieve a level of transparency and flexibility never before seen in the lighting and signage industry.  The product makes it possible to achieve dramatic visual effects in signage and consumer electronics while taking advantage of the low-energy, long-lasting performance benefits of LEDs.

MiraFoil® (Henkel, Germany/USA)

A low-impact printing solution for achieving metallic effects.  Long used to distinguish products in a crowded marketplace, metallic effects are used on everything from retail packaging to POP displays.  While other techniques used to achieve this look render the packaging material unrecyclable, MiraFoil is a VOC-free coating that can be removed through the de-inking process, enabling the paper or polymer to which it is applied to be recycled.

PaperLite (Flextrus, Sweden)

A biodegradable paper alternative to traditional plastic food packaging.  PaperLite is a new solution for protecting perishable foods and industrial products.  The material contains no iso-cynates or solvents, is FDA approved, and can be used to contain meats, cheeses, electronics, ink cartridges and other products that require a pack material that provides durability, toughness and optimal barrier protection. 

Saratech® Permasorb Wallpaper (Blücher, Germany)

Air-purifying Wallpaper. Saratech® Permasorb Wallpaper is an ingenious solution for combating air pollution in contaminated buildings. The durable covering removes toxins embedded in wall surfaces, like PCBs, PCP, pesticides and radon, and safely contains these chemicals over time.

About Material ConneXion®:

Material ConneXion is a global materials consultancy that helps companies innovate through smart materials thinking. Built on the belief that Every Idea Has A Material Solution, Material ConneXion is the trusted advisor to Fortune 500s, smaller forward-thinking companies, and government agencies seeking a creative, competitive, or sustainable edge through strategic material selections. With offices in New York, Bangkok, Cologne, Milan and Daegu, Korea, Material ConneXion's international network of specialists provides a global, cross-industry perspective on materials and their potential uses. Material ConneXion maintains the largest subscription-based Materials Library of innovative materials and processes in the world – an indispensable asset to a wide audience of designers and architects and a vital tool for the development of design, industry and economy.

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