By David Vink, European Plastics News
Thermoformed plastics play an integral part in the Avus lounge chair, designed by German studio Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design (KGID) for Plank Collezioni, the furniture company located in the Italian town of Ora. The leather-cushioned chair featured among Plank exhibits at the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in Milan in April 2011.
Konstantin Grcic designed the chair with the assistance from Sami Ayadi of KGID to incorporate a rigid base in matt ABS plastic. This is produced using a twinsheet thermoforming process and incorporates integrated grip recesses. The characteristic hollow interior produced in this process is filled with flame retardant polyurethane foam, which increases rigidity without adding excessive weight.
However, flexibility is a feature of the seat shells and the fluted high gloss upper shell, which are made from a single 3mm thick thermoformed sheet in the same type of ABS material as the base.
Grcic says the Avus chair "pays tribute to the characteristic qualities of this classic furniture type: great comfort, attention to detail, fine materials and refined elegance. However, the use of modern materials processed with cutting-edge technology from the automotive and sports industry makes Avus a radical reinterpretation of the lounge classic."
Solera-Thermoform Group, an Italian thermoforming company with facilities in Fucecchio and Torreglia, produced the plastic parts for the Avus chair. The July/August 2010 issue of European Plastics News reported on the company's PastItaly pasta automat project, which was also made using twinsheet thermoforming.
Konstantin Grcic is scheduled to present a paper on the Avus chair project at the SPE European Thermoforming Division's 2012 thermoforming conference in Venice (26-27 April 2012).
Other recent designs by KGID for Plank have included the Monza armchair (2009) in wood and injection moulded polypropylene back and arm rests, and the filigree net structured Myto cantilever chair (2007), a single-piece injection moulding in BASF's HighSpeed easy-flow PBT plastic.
A full version of this story is available on European Plastics News. "