The beehive made from wood-polymer composites, WPC for short, unites the advantages of wood and plastic in one composite material which complies with the necessary requirements for the housing of bees. It can be manufactured on an industrial scale in the future. Compared to a conventional polystyrene hive, the petrochemical base material is replaced with 90% biomaterials. This is achieved by substituting the two plastics hard polyethylene HDPE and polypropylene PP with bio variants on the basis of sugar cane.
The aim of the research is to configure the positive properties of WPC with the aid of renewable raw materials in such a way that the density of a component is reduced, in order to achieve a low weight and simultaneous good insulation properties. For this, corresponding formulations are developed and their technical properties are tested. The beehives are intended to provide an example of how new material combinations and the application of renewable raw materials can enable improved property profiles of components, even in sensitive areas of application.
Transferred to other industrial fields of application, this means that the positive properties of natural fibers, e.g. breathability, fungicidal or insulation properties, can be specifically applied for new materials. In this way, the researchers embellish hybrid materials with new needs-oriented functionalities whilst simultaneously taking their economical and sustainable production into account.