Our most recent commercial project utilized a material that we’ve not used before and which has been garnering a lot of interest: Richlite. But, what is Richlite?

When we worked with Quay Studio to bring to life their laptop table concept for their refit of the work, conference and public spaces at Goonhilly Earth Station, Rachael and Victoria specified Richlite as the material for the tabletops.  Richlite is a suitably space-age material for use at a satellite and telecommunications hub, but it actually dates back over 75 years to 1943.

Richlite is a sheet material made from resin-infused paper. Sheets of craft paper are saturated with a thermosetting resin, stacked on top of each other and then cured under elevated heat and pressure to create a solid, stable and incredibly durable material. The finished product is approximately 65% FSC®-certified or recycled paper content and 35% phenolic resin, and carries Rainforest Alliance, FSC and Greenguard certification (Ensuring that a product has met some of the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of VOCs). Richlite was originally developed in America’s Pacific Northwest for industrial tooling and pattern-making in the aerospace industry, such is its durability and machinability, before the commercial food industry began to use it due to its sanitary and durable qualities. Richlite has gone on to find uses in everything from architectural cladding and skate ramps, to musical instruments, kitchen worktops and, of course, furniture.

Nick cut the tops for our laptop tables on our 3m x 2m 3axis CNC machine, ensuring minimal wastage from each 18mm thick sheet.

“I was amazed at how dense it was considering it is made of layered paper – it machined well and the finished edge was so crisp.”
— Nick Williams

Our new tables use a leathered finish Richlite in their Black Diamond colour (100% recycled paper), finished with a coat of clear Osmo oil, and the resulting effect is similar to having a thick slate tabletop, but at a fraction of the weight.

We love discovering novel and new materials and exploring the possibilities and opportunities that they bring here at Cord. If you’ve got a project in mind or would like is to make one of the pieces in our range with the timber replaced with a material of your own specification, then drop us a line as we’d love to talk it through with you.