Strong yet light as a feather – a tricky combination. Design Force has joined forces with Walki to create Re-board – a light, durable triumph for display material and furniture.
Re-board has clear advantages over traditional materials. “Our Re-board furniture and interior boards weigh 7 to 8 times less than chipboard or plywood equivalents. They are also
completely recyclable and contain no toxic substances," says Kurt Aldén, who launched Design Force in 2002 after selling his successful company SCA Display.
Design Force produces new, creative paper based products in Norrköping, Sweden. Corrugated board is not an innovation as itself, but Kurt Aldén has created a new, efficient production method and discovered new applications for the material. “We have turned the production method upside down. The board is first glued together in large blocks and then sawn into slices," he explains.
Aldén turned to Walki to achieve a waterproof, printable surface on both sides. “Walki has given the board a moisture barrier and printable surface. Walki’s strength lies in their expertise and in their tradition of working in close cooperation with the customer on various sorts of laminates," says Aldén.
Walki adapts the Re-board with various laminates, depending on the environment and application. To minimise the risk of fire, a flame-proof surface can be laminated onto the board. When the board needs to withstand year-round outdoor use, it is laminated to an even more resilient board. “Our product looks simple but is a result of a lot of work and testing.
The board has a certain rigidity and thickness, and the laminate must produce the required properties without being visible and without negatively affecting the production process," explains Jan-Anders Fagerhed, Technical Service Manager at Walki.
The material has been exposed to a range of tests. Kurt Aldén built a dog kennel, which has survived rain and wind for several years without material damage. Re-board has also
provided backing for several outdoor advertising campaigns in open urban spaces, attracting attention with large and colourful designs.
“Pictures, patterns and text can be transferred from a computer and turned into sharp images on the boards via ink-jet printing. Customers can easily have their campaigns printed on Re-board," says Gustav Grahn, Managing Director at Walki Sweden.
Design Force’s main market is in retail, where store décor is being replaced at an increasing rate. The company boasts both boutiques and some of the major international retail giants among its customers. There is also potential in trade shows: instead of producing display material on chipboard, plywood, metal or cardboard, an increasing number of exhibitors are choosing Re-board as a light yet durable material.
“We sell to customers in around forty countries and the number is growing. All conversions are digital, and we can produce a small series quickly at a low cost. We believe that this is the future," says Kurt Aldén.