Enclosure systems made of hemp and flax
Rittal experimented with new materials during the development of the BioRack, with the aim of employing sustainable, environmental compatible and easily degradable substances in enclosure systems. Here, bioplastics might well represent an interesting starting point.
Bioplastics are synthetic materials made from renewable raw materials. Currently, starch and cellulose are used as biopolymers from sugars, and potential crop plants include those containing starch, such as maize or sugar beet, as well as types of wood from which cellulose can be gained. Other potential raw materials, such as chitin and chitosan, lignin, casein, gelatine, grain proteins and plant oil are also possible raw materials for producing bioplastics. These belong to the biomaterials category. Additionally, natural fillers like wood fibre, flax, hemp or sisal can be used.
Qualities like stability, conductivity, and resistance to fire are achieved through the introduction of additives, which control these material properties. In the face of increasing raw material prices and costs of disposal, environmentally friendly materials may represent cost-effective alternatives. In 2008, the first design study was presented to the public at CeBIT and the Hanover Fair.