Thursday, May 30, 2024

World-first acoustic wool panels lead the flock

A Government-backed New Zealand company has developed a world-first fire resistant, acoustic wall panel for commercial interiors made entirely from local strong wool, Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor has announced. 

The Minister said T&R Interior Systems Limited (T&R) has spent the past two years refining its wool panels to ensure they meet New Zealand’s strict building and fire compliance standards.

“They’ve nailed it and are now taking their product to market,” said Mr O’Connor.  

The new product, Floc Panels, was launched in Wellington today. 

“Floc wall panels use strong wool to eliminate common acoustic issues such as echoes and reverberation, which are vital in open-plan offices and classrooms.” 

“What’s more, the panels provide a sustainable and more environmentally friendly alternative to existing products, which are predominantly made from synthetic materials. These selling points will resonate in our export markets. 

“We’re excited for our sheep farmers to have a new high-value, innovative product on the market made from strong wool. Innovations likes these will help them maximise their earning potential,” said the Minister.

T&R was awarded $303,200 from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) fund to accelerate pre-commercial development of the wool panels.  

“Most existing acoustic products in are imported from overseas, so it’s great that a smart Kiwi company has invested to create this homegrown product,” said Mr O’Connor. 

“The acoustic panel market is growing globally, and the domestic market alone currently worth NZD$35-50 million annually. Allied Market research has forecast the global market to increase by 6.3% to US$13.8 billion by 2031.  

“We expect the amount of wool used will increase substantially as we access new export markets with this product. 

“I’m focussed on seeing strong wool providing a lucrative revenue stream for our sheep and beef farmers into the future and applaud the work of T&R,” he said.

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