Global materials consultancy Material ConneXion announced today the launch of its first annual MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year, naming UK-based company Concrete Canvas's Concrete Cloth as the inaugural winner. The award recognizes materials juried into the company's Materials Library within the past year that demonstrate outstanding technological innovation and the potential to make a significant contribution to the advancement of design, industry, society and economy. “The MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year is an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary breadth and scope of materials innovation today,” says George M. Beylerian, Founder & CEO of Material ConneXion. “The winner is distinguished not only for its technical ability, but for its capacity to make a lasting impact on our lives.” Concrete Cloth's groundbreaking cement impregnated flexible fabric technology, which allows it to be quickly and easily molded and set into shapes, is a natural choice for 2009's winner. “With the simple addition of water, Concrete Cloth makes it possible to create safe, durable, non-combustible structures for a wide range of commercial, military and humanitarian uses,” says Dr. Andrew H. Dent, Vice President, Library & Materials Research at Material ConneXion. “This innovation is especially remarkable for enabling the construction of rapidly deployable shelter and food storage structures in disaster relief situations,” Dent adds. As the world's leading global materials consultancy and library of innovative and sustainable materials, Material ConneXion has unparalleled insight into the materials, processes and emerging technologies that are having the greatest impact on design worldwide. In addition to Concrete Cloth, the company is recognizing eleven Material of the Year honorable mentions whose exemplary material innovation makes them particularly worthy of note. Among them are Abtech Industries's groundbreaking Smart Sponge® technology, which is making enormous strides to combat water pollution by enabling the safe and effective removal of oil from water, and Objet Geometries' Connex 3D Multiple Material Printers, whose cutting-edge rapid prototyping technology enables multiple material types with different properties to be formed in the same object. Great advances in sustainable material innovation can be seen in materials such as Arkema's Pebax Rnew, an elastomer comprised of up to 95% plant-based materials that significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions when compared to equivalent fossil-fuel based products, and in Cellucomp's Curran, a high-strength biofiber formulated from degraded carrots with a stiffness that rivals carbon fiber. Solutions like Milliken Chemical's Millad NX8000® are significant for allowing companies to choose more sustainable materials previously unspecified because they didn't meet their designs' standards. Other honorable mentions, such as Innegrity's Innegra S fiber, Momentive's Performance Materials's LSR 7070, and OCTAMOLD Technologies's OCTAMOLD are recognized for increasing construction capabilities, improving performance, and lowering costs in a wide range of applications - from sporting goods and military equipment to transportation design. Cutting-edge processes including Keil Gmbh's Xylogramm, Vestige Veneer's Infigure and Quin Arts & Media Science's Metal Architectural Surfaces are recognized for pushing aesthetic boundaries and transforming architectural and interior spaces by achieving extraordinary visual and dimensional effects in a wide range of mediums. Material ConneXion will mount an exhibition of the MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year 2009 winner and finalists in its New York City showroom from January 11-February 19, 2010, giving the public an opportunity to see and interact with these extraordinary innovations in person. Concrete Cloth has been chosen as winner for its groundbreaking cement impregnated flexible fabric technology that can be quickly and easily molded and set into shapes. This innovation is remarkable for enabling the quick construction of safe and insulated infrastructure for a wide range of humanitarian, commercial, and military uses, including the creation of rapidly deployable shelter and food storage structures in disaster relief situations.
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