04 | 12 | 2020

CIDETEC develops recyclable composites based on new bio-based resins for vehicle and construction parts

Surface Engineering

The ECOXY project ends after three and a half years of research.

A conference at the headquarters of the Zaragoza Aitiip Technology Centre has been used to showcase the final results of the Ecoxy project, coordinated by CIDETEC, in which researchers from twelve European centres have developed bio-based composites with resins and reinforcement fibres of bio origin. The resin is also of a 3R type, i.e. Repairable, Reprocessable and Recyclable. 

As a result of the innovative 3R technology already patented by CIDETEC, the parts manufactured using these materials can be recovered at the end of their life, with the cycle of use of resources and materials being almost unlimited. This was, until now, almost unthinkable for thermostable composites. Also, the Ecoxy project has gone one step further in 3R technology, developing new bio-based epoxy resins to replace the commonly used fossil-based ones. 

The Ecoxy project has succeeded in manufacturing car backrests for the back seat of a car and for window profiles with these materials, for which the processability and mechanical properties have been validated by companies in the vehicle and construction industries. The materials developed with Ecoxy have competitive advantages for all the sectors related to mobility (cars, aeronautics), renewable energy (wind farms) and maritime infrastructures, where environmental conditions are very aggressive for other materials such as metals and these composites offer a possible alternative.

The twelve European partners that actively participated in the project shared, during the final conference, the results related to obtaining the materials, as well as their adaptation to the manufacturing processes. Also, during the conference they received feedback from the CDTI’s Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking. Various industrial experts also took an active part in the round tables organised during the event. Potential end users of these materials discussed the market opportunities of the solutions proposed by Ecoxy: aeronautics (Airbus), railways (Talgo), in addition to the construction (BGTec) and automotive (CRF Fiat) partners, who were among the members of the consortium, and technological platforms (Materplat). 

In addition, end-of-life experts such as PLATA (from Teruel airport, experts in aircraft scrapping and recycling) and ECRT (a member of the consortium and an expert in advanced revaluation processes) were able to discuss the end-of-life solutions developed in the project. They also had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of registered participants at the event, who shared their questions.

The project, as part of the European Union’s multi-annual research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, had a budget of 4.85 million euros, provided in full by the European Commission, through the Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU). Twelve partners from Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland took part, including five research centres, one university and another six companies.

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