Henkel invests in hardwood technology start-up 3RT

Henkel has developed with 3RT a robotic process to convert forest and plantation residue into hardwood products (Image: Henkel)

Henkel Adhesives Technologies has announced an investment in 3RT to strengthen its capabilities for timber construction solutions.

Founded in 2014, 3RT has developed an automated production process for converting low-value wood fibre into hardwood products. The company applies a water-based, formaldehyde-free “nano-bonding agent” that bio-mimics the structure of a natural tree. The technology platform uses advanced robotics and smart automation to create products of high-quality appearance and is reportedly 100% natural and recyclable.

Together with 3RT, Henkel has developed a robotic process to convert forest and plantation residue into hardwood products. With the investment, Henkel aims to further expand its engineered wood business and to drive the implementation of sustainable future-oriented technologies.

“As part of our venturing activities we are looking for novel and scalable technologies complementing our existing portfolio in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings,” explained 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.”

Through its engineered wood business, the company offers high-impact structural adhesives under the Loctite brand that enable the manufacturing of mass timber products for wooden beams, trusses, walls and floors. Adhesives from Henkel can contribute to a reduction in the building’s carbon footprint.

“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”, concluded Peter Torreele, managing director of 3RT.