TCHI Magazine #4: A new light on powder coating waste material
Any company that “makes stuff ” should look critically at diminishing its residual waste. What is left can be repurposed in many creative ways. Turning residual leftovers into a new material is a best-case zero waste scenario. We all want to counter global warming, so our frame of mind is now set on reforming waste into all kinds of useful new products.
When Maikey van Eck, a young product designer, toured the production floors of Tchai during a job interview he stumbled upon a solid material in a variety of colours. It was residual waste from a powder coating machine for metals, a substance that has no further use. How can this be recycled? thought Maikey. The material also intrigued him because marbled effects or piled layers of colours can be created with it. He began experimenting to determine if this waste substance could be used on an industrial scale as new material. After much trial and error Maikey concluded that it could be carried out in practice. The waste can be kneaded into any tri-dimensional form. Using a heat press mould with a silicon coating would generate a smooth result. Although the material is fragile, it is perfectly useable for manufacturing products that endure little physical stress.
Maikey is now developing conceptual designs for lifestyle products such as lamp fixtures. The effect of light shining through this product is luminous because the material is slightly translucent. What is special is that each product is one-of-a-kind, because the composition of the powder coating is always different, as are the marble effects. We are looking for more designs for this sleek industrial waste to connect the loose ends of raw industrial material and create a sustainable loop.