“Wood is fantastic. It is nature’s own material that can be shaped however you like. And if you use wood the right way, it will last indefinitely.”
Herje Boström, Founder of Sioo:x
Nature inspires us in everything we do and has made us who we are. With the help of nature and Swedish patented technology, we have created an ecologically sound wood-protection-system that gives durable, silver-grey wood surfaces. See how we and others have created pleasing and beautiful wood environments. Welcome to our beautiful, silver-grey world!
Founded in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1998 by Herje Boström, Sioo Wood Protection are the creators of the ground breaking, patented, Sioo:x Impregnation system using silicate technology.
Sioo Wood Protection AB was established in 2008 to carry forward marketing and support across Scandinavia and internationally. Today the Sioo:x products are in widespread use by consumers and professionals. Many projects have been in the field for over ten years. Sioo:x was introduced to the UK in 2012 where it is marketed, supported and distributed.
The Sioo:x products are specified by world leading architects, professionals and clients seeking natural and sustainable wood protection solutions that give long life and a beautiful even weathered aged appearance which allows the timber to blend into its environment.
Sioo Wood Protection AB sustains an on-going R&D programme with Chalmers Technical University, the world leading RISE – Research Institutes of Sweden – encompassing the SP Technical Institute and with industrial partners.
Herje Boström, Founder of Sioo:x
Sioo:x innovator and founder Herje Boström is a nature lover who enjoys hiking in the woods and fields around his eighteenth century house in Småland. And who never stops being fascinated by houses that are still standing after centuries without being affected by mildew.
“These houses have stood the test of time largely because they were built smarter in the past and were made from natural building materials,” says Herje Boström.
The foundation for Herje’s interest in architecture and building was laid while he was studying in Munich in the 1980s. Many of his friends were architecture students. One of them later became one of the most famous architects in northern Europe, specializing in building conservation. Herje earned a degree in business administration and became a teacher at Nösnäs Upper Secondary School in Stenungsund. The friends kept in touch and periodically got together.
After a few years they launched a business together based on researching old techniques to discover forgotten treasures of knowledge that could be developed into modern products. Initially they tried different paths together. They soon settled on a successful technique that conservators have been using for centuries to preserve wood.
It involves a simple mixture of silicon and potassium that penetrates into and unites with wood, while strengthening it with a crystalline layer. This technique has protected valuable art objects and wooden details in buildings against mildew, rotting and insects for centuries. Some say that Stradivarius even treated his violins with potassium silicate to get the best protection and sound. Sodium silicate, which was used during World War II for fire protection, was also tested. However, this technique was rejected since it was discovered that it does not penetrate and protect as effectively, but rather over-strengthens the surface layer, which then becomes subject to cracking.
This signaled the start for Sioo:x, which was founded in 1998. Herje and his team developed a product suitable for protecting wood against the taxing Nordic environment. Contacts were established with paint giant Akzo Nobel and Chalmers University of Technology, where together we tested the basic technology for several years. The Sioo:x team simultaneously carried out in-house development projects. A unique silicon formula was developed and the results were confirmed by testing the product under both laboratory conditions and on wood exposed to real-world elements. “It was a real thrill. A whole new world opened up. I was studying, teaching and completely captivated,” says Herje Boström. Herje applied for a patent, which was approved a few years later and ready to go. This serves as the foundation for a broad and stable patent-protected technology base on which to develop the business for many years to come.
In order to achieve production on a somewhat larger scale, Herje and the company initiated a collaboration with painting legend Rolf Hansen and his company, Wibo Färg, located on Hisingen in Gothenburg. Sioo:x leased space and gradually grew in the premises at Wibo Färg.
Herje had begun by applying the wood protection product to decks belonging to friends and neighbors. He quickly received confirmation that the product really worked and people began to contact him spontaneously. They were especially fascinated by the beautiful, light and smooth surface. The product unites incredibly well with wood and therefore has superior durability, while being completely eco-friendly.
The following years Herje Boström went around the country with a fully loaded car and demonstrated Sioo:x wood protection at trade fairs. Sales took off, paint store chains showed interest and the products appeared on TV programs like the DIY shows Äntligen Hemma and Bygglov. Architects and construction companies started to use the eco-friendly technology.
In 2011 Herje resigned his teaching position to fully devote himself to Sioo:x and moved production into its own premises. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, about 20 people work in Sioo:x in the bright, new and spacious facility in the Gamlestan neighborhood on the outskirts of Gothenburg. Annual production of wood protection is about 80,000 gallons (2015).
Some of Europe’s leading researchers are developing the technology for our R&D operation. We are upgrading our marketing initiatives in cooperation with leading advertising agency Stendahls to become top tier and have built a platform for future expansion.
Our mission is to continue to break barriers and provide our customers with a positive “wow” experience from world-class products. We are doing today what customers could only dream of doing yesterday. We are solving persistent old problems in the wood industry and contributing eco-friendly products to society. Our concepts have no boundaries and are being realized in international cooperation.
Silicon technology has proven to be the future of innovation in many fields. Sioo Wood Protection conducts continuing research with Chalmers University of Technology to create the best wood protection. But, exactly how good are these products? We spoke with Professor Callum Hill who has specialized his work on modified wood, and is fully acquainted with the SiOO:X Silicon technology.
“SiOO:X has a unique surface treatment system where they use a special silicon technology. This chemical treatment works by penetrating through the wood surface, to protect the wood. The density that arises when silicon combines with oxygen from the air is what protects the wood.”
Unlike many other products on the market, SiOO:X products penetrate into the wood, instead of covering the surface like a membrane.
“For wood, you can’t rely only on such a covering to provide sufficient protection. A simple covering on the wood will always fail since the underlying wood is still exposed to UV radiation that breaks it down, slowly causing the cover to separate from the wood.”
This cannot happen with the SiOO:X solution since the treatment is polymerized into the wood matrix, which joins together the cell walls in the wood even when it has broken down.
“The surface protection prevents leaching throughout the curing process. Moreover, the surface protection also provides flexibility as it moves with the wood, while providing a water-repellent surface.”
The combination of natural ingredients within the water-based formula assures that production causes a very small environmental footprint.
“This product is entirely non-toxic and the wood can be burned after the many years of use to recover the energy it stores, leaving only silicon residues in the ash,” concludes Professor HillInternationalization was already initiated four years ago and is developing rapidly. The business is growing at a record pace and we are evolving to continue to provide lasting benefit to our customers, the industry and society through eco-friendly technology.