The overall goal of SUSPENS is to develop fully biobased (up to 95%) thermoset resins - epoxy and polyester type - with new formulations, enabling fast-curing manufacturing processes and properties suitable for lightweight to high-performance applications.
These resins will be combined with sustainable reinforcing continuous fibers, such as natural cellulose fibers, lignin-based carbon fibers, recycled carbon fiber yarns, and continuous carbon fibers made from recycled carbon fibers, to produce durable sandwiches and hollow parts for the transportation industries.
The SUSPENS project follows a three-phase approach
- development of two thermoset resins close to 95% bio-sourced content and four low environmental footprint continuous reinforcing fibres: cellulosic fibres (the natural fibres), bio-sourced carbon fibres (CF) obtained from lignin, yarn made of recycled CF compatible with a thermoset process, and new continuous glass fibres (GF) made of recycled GF content. These materials will be optimized regarding the end-user requirements in terms of mechanical performance, functionality and processability within existing composite processes.
- development of a one-shot processes to produce two types of lightweight structures: sandwiches and hollow parts. 3 demonstrators will be prepared:
- automotive industry (composite EM functionalised battery pack: base-plate-sandwich, top-cover-SMC part),
- sailing boat industry (sandwich light sailing boat hull and deck)
- Aerospace hollow light winglet
- study of the recyclability of our new resins and fibres in view of two different approaches:
- solvolysis process
- combination of two existing processes that will allow to drastically reduce the environmental impact of the carbonization process used for transforming precursor fibres into CF and the pyrolysis process used for separating fibres from matrix during the recycling. For these two processes, the target is to valorise both fibres and resin. In parallel, LCA and LCC studies will be performed to measure the positive environmental impact of our structural sandwiches and hollow lightweights’ composite parts on the manufacturing side (energy consumption) and on the components (fibre and matrix) side.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 101091906