SUSPENS will develop a holistic approach, from bio-sourced and recycled materials to faster and lesser energy demanding processes, to produce sustainable composite structural parts, ensuring their manufacturability from the design conceptualization. This ambition is basically achieved by the R&D of the coupling bio/circular-materials and processes.
SUSPENS will develop up to 95% bio-sourced thermoset resins, with formulations allowing fast cured manufacturing processes and properties adapted to high performance lightweight composite applications. To produce the parts, these resins will be combined with sustainable continuous reinforcing fibre such as natural based cellulose fibres, lignin-based CF, recycled CF staple yarn and continuous GF made from recycled GF for producing well engineered sandwich and hollow parts for transport industries. Some of these parts will be functionalised for added value and reduced assembling times.
SUSPENS will also develop an innovative approach for sustainable, optimized energy reduced pyrolysis, using waste stream from the carbonization of precursors, reducing environmental impact of carbon fibre production. For the bio-epoxy, a specific solvolysis will be developed to separate the matrix from the fibres. SUSPENS will assess the valorisation of oil and organic components in these two recycling approaches to transform them into by-products. LCA and LCC studies will show that SUSPENS approaches, combining sustainable materials and processes, can reduce the CO2eq emissions at expected levels of about 40-50%. These achievements will be validated by producing three demonstrators with their respective business models: (1) automotive battery pack for electric vehicle, (2) sailing boat hull/deck and (3) aero-structure winglet part. SUSPENS results will pay-back in terms of lesser energy consumption and environmentally friendly products that can be recycled and expects to bring its assets to the market end of 2028.
Megara Resins will be responsible for the synthesis and characterization of bio-based unsaturated polyester resins (UPRs) for composites. The monomers for polyester synthesis will be chosen carefully, focusing on sustainability of the raw materials and their commercial availability. The aim will be to replace fossil-based reactive diluents and reactants commonly used for UPR synthesis. The possibility of substituting styrene, which usually acts as a reactive diluent, with a greener and safer alternative during the crosslinking of UPRs, will also be explored. Various potentially bio-based materials will be evaluated as styrene replacement in UPRs with sustainable non-harmful materials. The synthesized UPRs will be characterised in terms of their thermal, mechanical and physical properties. The suitability of the materials to be used for composites for the targeted applications will be assessed in order to establish the potential for replacement of the conventional unsaturated polyester resins from petroleum sources. Life cycle assessment will be performed on selected UPRs, and comparison with a reference fossil-based UPR resin in terms of the calculated category indicator results will confirm the lower environmental impact of the newly prepared bio-based polyesters.
A successful kick off meeting for the SUSPENS project – Sustainable structural sandwiches and hollow composites parts for automotive, naval and aerospace markets
January 27, 2023 – Press Release