Henkel Adhesive Technologies strengthens its capabilities for timber construction solutions by investing in 3RT, Melbourne, Australia. Together with partners, the company has developed a robotic process to convert forest and plantation residue into high-quality and unique hardwood products. With the investment Henkel aims to further expand its Engineered Wood business and to drive the implementation of sustainable future-oriented technologies.
The investment is made through Henkel Tech Ventures. “As part of our venturing activities we are looking for novel and scalable technologies complementing our existing portfolio in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings,” explains Paolo Bavaj, Head of Corporate Venturing at Henkel Adhesive Technologies. “We believe that the combination of 3RT´s capabilities with Henkel´s unique expertise offers the potential to further expand the market for engineered wood applications.”
“Henkel is a leading provider of engineered wood solutions globally. Through its Engineered Wood business, the company offers high-impact structural adhesives under the well-known Loctite brand that enable the manufacturing of mass timber products for wooden beams, trusses, walls and floors. Mass timber is a high-performance building material that replaces concrete and steel in many construction applications as it is more sustainable, renewable and shows a lower CO2 footprint. High-tech adhesives from Henkel are crucial for the production of safe and sustainable engineered wood, and thus contribute to a significant reduction in the buildings’ carbon footprint,” the company said.
“In order to expand and promote the use of wood as a material in construction and in buildings, Henkel continuously looks for partners with innovative technologies. 3RTs technology allows a more sustainable and innovative production of hardwood products that have the potential for a wide range of structural and decorative applications,” says Christian Fild, Global Head of the Engineered Wood business at Henkel. Acknowledging Henkel’s sustainability ambition for 2030, this investment plays an important role in enabling customers to achieve their own sustainability targets.
Founded in 2014, 3RT has developed a novel automated production process for converting low-value wood fibre into hardwood products. Based on a patented process, 3RT applies a water-based, formaldehyde-free “Nano-bonding agent” that biomimics the structure of a natural tree. The technology platform uses advanced robotics and smart automation to create products of a high-quality appearance and is 100% natural and recyclable.
“3RT is focused on continuous improvement both in the fields of new material properties and methods of production to help address the significant environmental and supply challenges relating to old-growth forests. In addition to our partnerships with Flinders University and Bosch, this partnership with Henkel will assist in turbocharging our technological advancements and global expansion,” says Peter Torreele, Managing Director of 3RT.