Research for the development of fully renewable thermoplastic bio-composites

Europe has set forward a new goal: the development of composites based on (nearly) 100% renewable products. This implies that both the fibre reinforcement and the matrix fraction (thermoset or thermoplastic) have to be bio-based. At the same time the quality of these bio-composites needs to be upgraded so that they may compete on a technological basis with standard oil-based composites. This is crucial to increase the valorisation of these new products and to contribute to the strength of the bio-based economy that is in full expansion. Although there are several possible routes to produce fully bio-based composites, NATURE WINS will focus on the development of bio-composites based on long/continuous natural fibres as reinforcement and thermoplastic biopolymers as matrix material. The scope will be narrowed down to a production route based on blending both matrix and reinforcement in fibre form and using compression moulding as composite formation process. These restrictions in scope are essential in concentrating the research efforts to a common and focussed goal offering an important increase of potential success rate.
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