Development and demonstrators of durable biobased composites for a marine environment | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën

SeaBioComp

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Development and demonstrators of durable biobased composites for a marine environment

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Technological Innovation

Lead partner

CENTEXBEL

Begindatum

01/03/2019

Einddatum

31/08/2022

Project budget

4 129 325

ERDF amount

2 477 595

ERDF rate

60%

    Over

    Common challenge

    There is a growing demand for composites for applications in a marine environment due to the growing markets for fish & seaweed farming, energy harvesting, boats, pontons, anchoring and buoy elements, etc. (cfrs Solent LEP – Innovation strategy 2016 , The blue cluster, Flemish spearhead cluster). The reduced weight and relative low cost make these materials very interesting for these appalications. At present only petrol-based composites are applied, but concern is growing about the long-term ecological impact of these materials. Litter and microplastics are contaminating the sea, having a detrimental impact on sea-life (cfr Flemish action plan against litter in sea). Therefore, renewable materials should be developed; reducing the depletion of the fossil-based materials, limiting emission of greenhouse gases and reducing ecotoxic impact on the environment. At the same time, the materials should meet the highest technical performance and withstand longterm harsh sea environment including mechanical forces, aggressive environment, intense UV light etc. Meeting this duality is a major challenge.

    Main Achievements

    There is a growing demand for composites for applications in a marine environment due to the growing markets for fish and seaweed farming, energy harvesting, boats, pontoons, anchoring and buoy elements. At present only petrol-based composites are being used. Concern is growing about the long-term ecological impact. There is a need for renewable materials to be developed; reducing the depletion of the fossil based materials, limiting emission of greenhouse gases and reducing ecotoxic impact of microplastics. At the same time, the materials need to meet the highest technical performance and withstand the long term harsh marine environment including mechanical forces, aggressive environment, intense UV light etc. SeaBioComp is developing ‘demonstrator’ bio-based composite alternatives to potentially replace traditional fibre-reinforced composites commonly used in the marine industries. The consortium made based on literature review and test results a selection of the biobased building blocks (monomers, polymers, natural fibers) to be used in the project.

    One route that is explored is the use of biobased, self-reinforced thermoplastic polymer composite. Biocomponent biopolymer filaments have been developed and tested for their feasibility in composites formation using compression moulding processes. The compression moulding process is optimased with respect to the impregnation quality and mechanical properties. Secondly these biobased, self-reinforced thermoplastic polymer composite are strengthen by combining them with flax-reinforcement fibres. In situ polymerisation during monomer infusion was tested and showed potential of the acrylic system as “drop in” replacement for thermoset resins. The mechanical, physical, ecotoxicity properties of biopolymers/biocomposites and reference materials were investigated. Micro-plastic formation and ecotoxicity is examined.

    A large scale additive manufacturing machine for printing of natural fibre reinforced biopolymers was installed. During tests a new fender design has been developed. Successful initial mechanical tests had been performed.

    The SeaBioComp consortium is promoting the project using different communication channels in order to achieve a high awareness of the project which resulted in strong registrations for the online Interest Group. The SeaBioComp website attracts large numbers of monthly visitors. All partners are active in posting newsletter articles, website articles and social media posts.

    Partnership

    Partners

    CETI - Centre Européen des Textiles Innovants

    VLIZ - Flanders Marine Institute

    Association for research and developement of industrial processing methods (ARMINES)

    Poly Products

    University of Plymouth

    University of Portsmouth

    Marine South East Ltd

    Euramaterials

    IFREMER

    REWIN

    Outputs

    Theme
    Type
    Target
    URL / Download
    30/06/2020

    Industrial additive manufacturing installation adapted to process natural fibre reinforced biopolymer formulation

    Thema: Circular economy - Innovation
    Type: Physical equipment/pilot
    Target: SMEs /enterprises - Universities and research centres