Development of functional materials from natural fibres

Problem statement

Agricultural waste entails a management cost that represents an environmental impact. Moreover, society is demanding new materials made from less toxic compounds.

Executive summary

The technology developed produces functional materials through the use of natural fibres and bio-resins, which avoids the use of chemical additives/adhesives. Two types of materials have been developed, STRAWave and TRAshell, and it is possible to use straw or coconut fibres.

Technology description

The technology has been developed by the BioMat/ITKE - Faculty of Architecture at the University of Stuttgart. The products are made from recycled natural agricultural fibres combined with thermosetting bio-resins. The natural fibres are ground and combined separately with the bio-resins and moulded in a closed vacuum press in custom-designed moulds to achieve the required final shape pattern. In the case of STRAWave, different wave and colour designs were applied. The products can be used in non-structural façade cladding systems and interior cladding. STRAWave panels measure around 400 x 400 mm. In the case of TRAShell, this is a 300x 300 x 300 x2-5 mm carcass with glossy additives applied to suit exterior façade use. The business model is based on licensing, available to industrial partners in the fields of interior architecture, automotive interiors, plastics industry and wood composites. The process can be "do-it-yourself" and does not require specific training or high operating costs.

Market deployment considerations


Environmental considerations


Technology feedstock

agri-residues corn cobs corn stover cotton feed stocks crop residues straw waste fibres wheat straw

Type of process


Technology output




Technology Readiness Level








Technology owner/developer

BioMat/ITKE - Fac. Arquitectura - Univ. Stuttgart
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