Eco-sustainable thermal-phono insulation material, which can be used both in construction and in product design, derived from canine fibres.
Twice a year dogs go through moulting, the natural process through which the undercoat is shed and allows the fur to renew itself in preparation for the warmer or colder seasons.
Annually in Italy, at least 115 million kilos of undercoat is naturally produced, of which (considering a loss of 20% of the weight after a necessary washing process) 90 million kilos of fibres could become available to be processed. Such a quantity would allow for the production of up to 90.000.000 m2 of felt.
In the past, before the introduction of intensive livestock farming, dog wool, also known as chiengora, was used as a substitute for sheep wool. The fibre was used also because of its hypoallergenic properties: the allergen that causes a reaction is produced by a dog’s sebaceous glands, so it’s not on the single strands of fur. Hence once the strands have been shed and washed, there is no trace left on the wool.
The array of samples that have been produced during the first phase of the research presents a vulnerability, which determines a more or less significant tolerance in the results that have been attained. Since they are handmade, the samples present imprecisions and flaws, which in turn reduce their physical efficiency.
Nonetheless, the testing has demonstrated that the product possesses some high-performing thermal characteristics. Thermal conductivity λ= 0,035 W/mK, higher than average (λ= 0,043 W/mK of traditional types of insulation - λ= 0,045 W/mK of recycled types of insulation). Acoustically the material possesses great sound-absorbing capacities between 800Hz and 4000Hz, reaching a peak at 3150Hz. Sound absorption coefficient α= 0,94.
Wolfwall breaths new life into a wasted resource, as well as promotes an eco-sustainable approach to upcycling, integrating itself into the tight relations between technology, enterprise and consumers as a potential green-oriented competitor.
The processing of these fibres involves the use of the same machinery as for the common felt: the fur is washed, dried, carded and needle punched.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.