WOOD FIBER INSULATION

| A high-value insulator with a negative carbon footprint

TECHNOLOGY

Wood fiber insulation (WFI) based products have been produced and used in European countries, mainly in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, since the mid-1990s. WFI is made in three forms, 1) loose-fill, 2) batts, and 3) rigid boards. WFI, which has grown into a 0.7 billion USD market in Europe, is currently being imported into the U.S., but high shipping costs have kept it an expensive niche product. Emerging domestic manufacturing is projected to make WFI a cost-neutral, drop-in replacement for fossil-based insulation boards, such as extruded/expanded polystyrene foam (XPS/EPS).

DEVELOPMENT

  • Since 2018, UMaine and GO Lab have partnered on R&D programs and prototyping efforts evaluating the effect of various manufacturing parameters, adhesives (including bio-based) types, and loading on the mechanical and physical properties of WFI.
  • In July of 2023, GoLab reopened the former Madison Mill, in Madison, Maine after a 110-million dollar upgrade and conversion to a WFI – the first in North America.
  • The ongoing installation of a WFI pilot line, donated by GoLab, is occurring at the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center to continue developing the technology, make it more sustainable, and improve its market viability.
  • GO Lab’s production facility in Madison will consume approximately 100,000 green tons of softwood chips annually while addressing just 0.6% of the US insulation market.

INNOVATION

  • Offers comprised of greater than 90% softwood fiber 
    Meets all performance requirements of common commercial construction insulations 
  • Made from renewable wood chips to maximize the use of our renewable forest resource 
  • WFI has better ecological credentials, as well as several performance advantages, over fossil-based conventional insulation materials, including better sound attenuation, and vapor openness. 
  • Utilizes a wide range of species, providing a critical outlet for a lower-value, underutilized species which has a positive impact on overall forest health.

Recent News


In Wood Composites