Alternative Building Materials: CornBoard

Houses have been built from mud, straw and cordwood. Now your Cozy Home can be made from corn husks. Corn husks, which are left behind after the harvesting and processing of corn, are a waste product which actually release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as they break down. Nearly 90 million acres of corn husks are created in the U.S. each year.

CornBoard is a green, wood alternative product that is made from leftover corn husks. Corn husks and stalks, also called stover, are shifted, sorted, combined with resin and bonded under heat and pressure in the manufacturing process. CornBoard is similar to the structural properties of Oriented Strand Board (OSB). The resin used to bond the material is a non-formaldehyde bonding agent, but the CornBoard Manufacturing Inc. company is in the process of creating their own formula that will reduce reliance on petrochemicals and will create a lower carbon footprint. The company hopes to replace regular pressed wood with CornBoard in thousands of products including building materials, furniture, cabinets, doors and even skateboards.

The process to make CornBoard was developed, refined and patented by leading researchers at the University of Illinois. The plan is to save hundreds of square miles of forest and to create a line of alternative fuel products like fuel pellets and fireplace logs.

 

Photo courtesy of CornBoard

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