HANABi, a start-up spearheaded by French academic research consortium SATT Linksium, is working on an “ultra-light” cellulose and ceramic hybrid material promising flexibility and liquid resistance. The innovation, positioned as an eventual competitor to flexible plastic packaging, is slated to launch in the second half of 2021.
HANABi’s material promises an alternative solution to plastic packaging by combining the benefits of paper and ceramic. “While paper has the advantage of being flexible and biodegradable, it is neither watertight nor gas resistant. Ceramic, however can be water- and gas-resistant, but lacks flexibility,” explains Erwan Gicquel, post-doctoral researcher at the Grenoble-based Laboratory of Pulp & Paper Science and Graphic Arts (LGP2), who is working with SIMAP researcher Frédéric Mercier for the HANABi project.
Made of 99% cellulose, ceramic elements are added “in key areas” through a confidential coupling process that is currently being patented. In addition, a fine layer of alumina (.04µm) is applied to the cellulose substrate. The material is said to be water-resistant and resistant to high temperatures.
Currently in scale-up phase, the technology is to launch by autumn 2021.