The project was born due to the concern to create a material of organic origin, soluble capacities, able to integrate into the marine life cycle and at the same time have enough tensile resistance that it can be used to make products. 'Lugae' is a material that is composed of locally produced raw materials.
Based on the research carried out and the importance of promoting the use of local resources, Lugae is a biomaterial produced in the form of a thin sheet, made from three ingredients of organic origin: carrageenan, vegetable glycerin, and water. Carrageenan is a polysaccharide extracted in Chile from red algae species (red luga, black luga and short luga), it is used in the food industry, as a stabiliser and binder and also on dairy foods and beverages. Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry uses it to make medicine and film capsules.
By exploring multiple proportions and combinations, the Lugae collection presents three versions of the same recipe, in which the amount of glycerin and the type of water (distilled and filtered sea) varies.
Lugae is a film with unique characteristics and properties, difficult to compare with other synthetic materials. It behaves like thin leather when subjected to tensile forces but is easy to crack like paper. One of its main attributes compared to other bioplastics is its great opacity and double texturing, where it is smooth and sometimes shiny on the one hand and rough and opaque on the other.
During the research process, the efforts focused on generating a methodology that aimed to characterise the material with greater precision, encompassing those properties that were defined as substantial to understand the material, and as designers, for the evaluation of future specific applications. Primary information, which places value on the material and makes it possible to more clearly visualise its alternative uses.
Nowadays, for creatives, there is a transcendental role to incorporate more responsible and committed processes with nature, therefore, to transfer the experience obtained in the exploration process, is vital to contribute to the study of new alternatives for more sustainable materials.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
Fab Lab Santiago, Ministerio de las Culturas, las Artes y el Patrimonio