"Natural matter" arises from research related to the disposal of fruit peels/shells. After the consumption of dried fruits, there is no second use for their peels, it was thought to give a use based on their specific characteristics, their hardness and mechanical resistance, smell, texture, and colour.
Experiments were done to obtain the most viable recipe, only natural ingredients were used, giving rise to the name "Natural Matter". The shells of nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, and almonds were used, and tests were also made of citrus and egg shells, joining linseed and coconut oil, pine resin and beeswax. In the composition of the ingredients, it is still possible to decide the granulometry of the fruit peels, the mixtures were made with different amounts of materials and the results changed according to the recipe.
It was possible to conclude that the finer the particles, the better they mix with the other ingredients, gaining more resistance to breakage.
To produce this material, all the ingredients were placed in a container in a boiling water bath, until they melted and intertwined, after being well mixed, they are placed in a silicone mould with the desired shape, but they can also be moulded manually, and it is only necessary to let the mixture cool down to the touch point.
In the final mix, the material took about 4 hours if placed in an environment below 10ºC and about 8 hours in an environment of 20ºC. In the palpable sense, there is the possibility to feel the regenerations, the material when it reaches temperatures above 40º becomes softer and more malleable, and at higher temperatures it can melt.
One of the interesting points for its appearance and smell is, as it retains the smell of the nut shells used, and it is possible to preserve its colour due to the pine resin, the material is water resistant.
The project was also designed in terms of recycling and reuse, all the elements are organic and biodegradable so that their disposal on the ground does not damage or condition the environment. Once dried to the touch and solidified, the material can be melted down and reused.
The main idea is to question the materials that surround us and think about more sustainable options, look for waste materials that have a good mechanical capacity and explore new ways to use them.
Walnut shells, for example, resemble wood, so it is very rewarding to use this material to create new product possibilities and new functions.
The project leaves as a legacy the prevention of waste that has potential, giving a second chance and seeing beyond what the material is at the time of its first function, absorbing its capabilities and imagining future uses that are relevant and make sense, creating options that anyone can easily access."
"Natural matter", it is concept of new material based on natural elements together with food waste such as nuts and fruit peels (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, orange, lemon, egg, etc.), to later be used as natural paste glue or alternative bitumen to wood using moulds, consists of several experimentation processes with different situations and considering possible production techniques such as pressing, extrusion, 3D printing or hand moulding.
The mixture is made with materials that are easily found in nature such as rosin blonde (rosin or pine resin), pure beeswax, linseed, coconut, almond oils, etc. and the idea was to use them in the most natural way possible, the materials have been melted only in a water bath, mixing all the ingredients, always changing the amounts of each material and observing the results, clearly concluding that some formulas work better than others.
About the recipe:
To make 50 grams of material, 20 grams of bark (ground to a powder, but it's possible to change the grams for larger scale), 20 grams of pine resin, 5 grams of beeswax, and 5 grams of coconut oil were used.
The amount of grams per ingredient can vary depending on the type of bark used, the density of each defines the amount of the remaining ingredient, the shared recipe is the basis that was used for the final samples.
Nutshell, pine resin, coconut oil, beeswax
Sara Baptista da Silva