Treating fractures with a biodegradable material: Primo manufactures revolutionary new materials for orthopaedic casts

Primo has developed the production processes for a highly innovative material used for casts and splints: Woodcast, invented by Onbone OY.

Treating fractures with a biodegradable material

Made from wood chips and biodegradable plastic, Woodcast is lighter, stronger and much easier to use than conventional plaster materials – and is produced by Primo.

Setting a broken bone or supporting a damaged knee requires a material that is both strong and flexible – up to now, the materials of choice have been either conventional plaster or fiberglass. However, both are difficult to use, require the use of gloves and ventilation systems, and cannot be changed once in place. Fortunately, an alternative material exists – one that is being produced by Primo for Onbone: Woodcast.

An innovate and environmentally friendly compound

The material was developed when deciding to use two existing materials, wood and biodegradable plastic, to create a solution with little environmental impact. Primo was involved in solving this challenge from the beginning. 

Sales manager Joakim Häggblom from Primo explains:

“One of our mottos at Primo is: If you can think it, we can make it. In this case, Onbone saw the potential for using plastics as a way of replacing existing materials and creating a better solution – both for the patient and for the environment. In fact, we believe very strongly that plastics can improve most products significantly, and this is certainly true in the case of Woodcast.”

Woodcast is produced in sheets from a compound of biodegradable plastics and wood, making it extremely lightweight and tough at the same time. Another amazing feature is its ability to allow X-ray photography of the limb without having to remove the cast – a time-saver as well as a true leap forward in patient comfort. 

Facts about Woodcast:

  • Non-toxic
  • X-ray transparent
  • No water or gloves needed
  • Self-adhesive
  • Breathable
  • Biodegradable material
  • Available in several sizes and colours 

Developed in collaboration with Primo

After having developed the material, Onbone needed to find a partner with the technology and the knowhow to manufacture the product they had in mind. The partner they chose was Primo, and in close collaboration with Onbone’s specialists, Primo developed the manufacturing technique needed to produce this unique product. 

“This is quite a unique material, so it needs to be produced in a unique way,” says Joakim Häggblom. “Our production facility has been set up specifically to handle the requirements of this advanced compound. We are proud to be a vital part in the manufacture of such a unique product line, and we believe that it demonstrates how Primo is always keen to follow the customer and to act as a development partner from very early on in any project – no matter how sophisticated.”

Read all about Woodcast
Made from wood chips and biodegradable plastic, Woodcast is lighter, stronger and much easier to use than conventional plaster materials

About Primo 

Headquartered in Copenhagen, the Danish group has sales and production activities at 11 locations in Europe and China. The group currently has 980 employees and a turnover of 205 million EUR (per 31.12.2022). The company was founded and owned by the Grunnet family and, since its beginning in 1959, has specialised in designing and producing customer-specific profile solutions in plastic.