Development of foamed products based on protein

An extrusion process is applied for the production of foamed profiles and filling materials consisting of biogenous raw materials. Pellets can be used as insulation material in the building industry, profiles shall break into new markets because of its little weight.

Short Description




One of the main objectives of this project is the development of an innovative foamed product made from protein containing by-products and waste products. These foam products have a density of less then 1,0 g/ccm thus resembling the density of most of wood types.

An extrusion process is applied for the production of foamed profiles and filling materials consisting of biogenous raw materials. One might think of several applications such as insulation in building materials, automotive interior...

After preselection of appropriate raw materials, additives and extrusion conditions foaming was conducted on a laboratory extruder and afterwards scaling up was made.

Waste products from chromium free tanneries were used as protein containing raw material.

Based on former tests several promising recipes were chosen for further experiments.

Low costs of the raw materials, low densities, high porosity and expansion of the end product were important criteria.

The extrusion parameters having high influence on the mechanical properties of the final product were also optimised during the test runs. The optimum range of metering, the screw speed, residence time, the temperature in dependency of the melt temperatures of the components, and the water content were determined. Different screws and dies were also tested.

Fundamental parameters necessary for foaming processes were established on the basis of the results from the test series. The optimum water content and the optimum ratio between components exhibiting flowable or reinforcing properties and fillers were determined. It was possible to generate foams with a wide range of properties such as flexible or brittle. The products based on recipes without fibrous compounds lack stiffness. A percentage rate of 30% flowable components is necessary for obtaining good performance on the extruder and sufficient hydrophobicity.

Natural resins and thermoplastic polymers are compatible to wood and other natural raw materials and are therefore used for achieving hydrophobicity.

For examining foam structure a reflected light microscope was used.

We concentrated on the development of recipes of filling materials that were pressed between fibreboards in a sandwich like construction and the production of low-weight profiles by direct extrusion.

For the production of foamed filling materials leather wastes containing protein were used. These granules of different sizes were used in combination with adhesive agents as insulation layer between upper layers giving stability. The result is a sandwich-like construction board made from renewable resources and waste materials.

Project Partners

Project management

Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Norbert Mundigler
Interuniversitäres Forschungsinstitut für Agrarbiotechnologie (IFA-Tulln)
Abteilung Naturstofftechnik, Konrad Lorenz Straße 20, 3430 Tulln

Project or cooperation partner

  • IFA-Tulln, Abteilung Naturstofftechnik:
    Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Karin Pirker, Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Rainer Bittermann, Ing. Josef Hintenberger, Mag. Alois Maticic, Dr. Bogdan Grzeskowiak, Wolfgang Schlager
  • Fasalex GmbH:
    Ing. Christoph Rögner (Geschäftsführer), Hartl (Produktionsleiter), Zodl (Verfahrenstechniker), Schmidseder (Produktmanager), Störinger, Auer (Hilfskräfte)

Contact Address

Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Norbert Mundigler
Abteilung Naturstofftechnik
Konrad Lorenz-Straße 20, A-3430 Tulln
Tel.: +43 (2272) 66280-301

Fasalex GmbH:
Rasdorf 26, A-4794 Kopfing
Tel.: +43 (7763) 2241-810
Fax: +43 (7763) 2810-810