As an expert in materials development and industry-based solutions, Apila Group was responsible for creating a recipe for a new geocomposite material in the Urban Infra Revolution project. We carried out the material development, conformity assessment, and defining of a productisation protocol. We investigated the industry’s interest in the material and the start of business cooperation to commercialise the new material. Our role in the consortium was diverse: forming a corporate ecosystem during the project planning phase, steering group activities and stakeholder work during the project. Five geocomposite material recipes were successfully created, with circular economy materials ranging from 68 to 99%. The developed recipes are based on the utilisation of sidestreams generated in South Karelia or the vicinity and are suitable for 3D printing.
Urban Infra Revolution (UIR) project
The Urban Infra Revolution (UIR) project developed circular economy materials and a new method for manufacturing recyclable and functional urban construction products by combining forest and mining sidestreams. The aim of the project was an innovative regional experiment, e.g. developing 3D printing technology and a new, concrete-like geocomposite material. This combination can be used to print more environmentally friendly solutions for the infrastructure and construction industries. The materials, methods and concepts created by the development work can be replicated in other parts of the world. 3D technology enables a new, urban architecture, such as printing round shapes and constructing a versatile cityscape.
The City of Lappeenranta was the leader of a three-year (11/2017–10/2020) project. The project was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund’s Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) initiative. The total cost of the project was 4.2 million euros: EU support accounted for 80% and the rest came from the participating organisations. In addition to Apila Group, the City of Lappeenranta, LUT University, LAB University of Applied Sciences, Imatra Region Development Company (Kehy), Metsä Group, Metso: Outotec, Nordkalk, FIMAtec, UPM, Stora Enso, Totaldesign and Design Reform were involved in the project as a project consortium.
Gepocit® geopolymer – best value for construction industry needs
The Gepocit® solution developed by Apila Group is a novel construction material that uses residual resources from the energy and mining industries. The use of sustainable residual materials and protection of precious natural resources contribute to the circular economy. Our experts determine the specific composition of the Gepocit® material based on individual customer needs. This means that different product qualities can be taken into consideration during product development. Gepocit® is strong, may be used in a wide range of products and is very cost-effective.