Sandwich laminate with bio-based foam in the middle and kraft paper as outer layer. Photo: Nikolina Frisk. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Award-winning thesis on bio-based foam material

Published: 20 January 2017

Nikolina Frisk, who recently completed her studies at the MSc program EEIGM, received the 2016 prize for best thesis by the Bo Rydin Foundation. The cash prize was 30 000 SEK.

Nikolina Frisk.

– It feels great to get the scholarship, especially considering how much work that was behind to make a fun and exciting work. Towards the end I got the chance to participate in an International Symposium on Bioplastics, Biocomposites and Biorefining 2016, where I got to present my work to other researchers and students. It turned out to be among the best things I did throughout the thesis and of course very educational, says Nikolina Frisk.

Carrots provide stronger foam

Nikolina Frisks' thesis deals with bio-based foam material, and their reinforcement with nano-cellulose from carrots and the usage of the reinforced foam core material in composite laminates with a Kraft paper outer layer. It is a very light sandwich laminate that for instance can be used in the automotive industry. Nikolina could show that very small amounts of nano-cellulose has a positive effect on the foam and that the foam materials results in improved composite laminates.

– The idea is that the bio-polyurethane foam reinforced with nano-cellulose will be able to replace oil-based polyurethane foam used today in for example insolation, padding and packaging materials.

Published in the scientific journal

The thesis was carried out in Canada at the University of Toronto in the spring of 2016, under the project EU FP7 dealing with industrial manufacture of composite materials (INCOM). These promising results are partly published in a scientific journal, Materials Design and Comprehensive Composites Materials II.

Besides Kristiina Oksman, Chair Professor in Wood and Bionanocomposites at Luleå University of Technology, Mohini Sain at the University of Toronto was also supervisor for Nikolina Frisk.

– A tip for writing a good thesis is to make the report as comprehensive as possible. Try to have a clear chronological order on the content and use detailed explanations with pictures and drawings, says Nikolina Frisk.

After the thesis Nikolina Frisk got a job as a project manager at the company CAPQ in Stockholm.

– CAPQ is working with color solutions in measurement, quality and development for companies in the manufacturing industry. I like my new job a lot!

Photo: Nikolina Frisk