The European research and innovation represent the engine of economic growth and innovative ideas leading to new products and new services. Indirectly, it leads to the potential of building new employment and skills.
EuCIA is partner in 3 EU funded projects under the European Community’s Seven Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013): BioStruct, WOODY and NATEX. The three projects are targeted towards developing bio-composites using natural fibre such as hemp, flax and wood.
Advanced Wood-Based Composites and their Production(BioStruct)
BioStruct aims to develop the next generation of wood and cellulose-reinforced composites - so-called „enhanced wood-plastic composites“or eWPCs - for complex structural and multifunctional components. BioStruct materials (wood-based and cellulose based fibre systems) shall reinforce bio-polymers as well as standard polymers through chemical modifications and pre-treatments such as the insertion of functionalities (e.g. electrical conductivity or flame retardancy).
Running time: November 2008 – October 2012
The BioStruct Project concentrates on new wood-plastic composites known as enhanced wood-plastic composites (eWPCs). eWPCs combine wood fibres and cellulose fibres with modified PLA through compounding, co-extrusion or injection moulding. Although wood-plastic composites have been around for a few years now, BioStruct aims to develop WPCs and bring them out of the old ‘niche’ market (e.g. low quality products) and into an array of quality product markets where they can offer feasible solutions in a world facing environmental needs that push towards sustainable and environmentally-friendly materials.
BioStruct involves 21 partners from 10 different countries. The partners represent the entire development chain, including material development, process development and industrial end use. The project is coordinated by Fraunhofer ICT in Germany.
Given the size of its industry association EuCIA is in charge of dissemination and exploitation activities for the BioStruct project in order to disseminate the projects research and results. In addition to dissemination and exploitation EuCIA is Task Leader for training events which provides an opportunity for researchers, students and end-users the opportunity to learn firsthand about BioStruct materials and processes.
Project website & links: www.biostructproject.eu
Innovative Advanced Wood- Based Composite Materials and Components(WOODY)
The goal of WOODY Project is to develop new composite panels and laminates from wood-derived renewable materials providing competitive performances when compared to traditional composites.
Running time: January 2009 - December 2012
WOODY’s objectives are the development and promotion of composite structures from wood derived cellulose fibres and resins obtained from natural raw materials and the development of an innovative process covering the entire value chain of composites: fibre, matrix and core derived from natural resources materials. The novel materials, treated and developed in an eco-sustainable manner are to be used in various market applications such as transportation, construction, furniture, music instruments and toys.
WOODY comprises 18 partners across Europe and in Israel, with extensive expertise in bio composites, and it is coordinated by CETMA in Italy.
EuCIA is leading the industrial testing of prototypes developed under WOODY. EuCIA is also involved in dissemination of projects results to the industry, while at the same time - , provides input for the development of an online database and modelling tool that can simulate composite structural mechanics. This tool will help designers and engineers to evaluate new applications for the materials developed under WOODY.
Project website & links: www.woodyproject.eu
Natural Aligned Fibres and Textiles for Use in Structural Composite Applications(NATEX)
NATEX aims to create innovative aligned textiles from natural fibres (flax and hemp) that are suitable for use as high‐strength reinforcing fabrics to produce structural composite materials and components. Four industrial sectors are targeted to reach these aims: transportation (automotive), energy (housing for solar and thermal panels), agricultural (tractors) and shipbuilding.
Running time: November 2008 - April 2012
The Project’s main objective is promotion of use of natural fibres in structural application by bringing innovative fibre preparation, yarn manufacturing, and fabric architecture technologies. Moreover, an innovative edge is followed for polymer selection modification, processing and design technologies.
NATEX consortium gathers 17 partners across Europe with various types of expertise in the bio-composites development chain. The project is coordinated by the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CIT) AIMPLAS in Spain
As the leading European composites industry association, EuCIA is best positioned to coordinate the dissemination activities, technology transfer and exploitation of results within the consortium.
Project website & links: www.natex.eu