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New Composite Technologies for Vehicles and Construction

13 January 2006

Two new UK projects plan to produce vehicle and construction components from the next generation of two families of materials – self-reinforced plastics and bio-derived composites.

Self-Reinforced Plastics

The first of the 2 projects aims to develop self-reinforced plastics (SRPs) for high-performance and net-shape moulding. SRPs consist of a polymer matrix reinforced by fibres of the same polymer and offer low weight, excellent recyclability, safe handling and high impact resistance - characteristics that make SRPs extremely attractive to a range of industries including automotive and construction, with many applications already in place.

The objective of the project is to develop SRPs further, allowing the net-shape moulding of existing PP self-reinforced plastics and the use of higher-performing polymers, such as PET, for more structural applications.

Bio-derived Composites

The second project aims to develop continuously reinforced natural fibre thermoplastic composite parts for both vehicle and construction applications, bringing the combined benefits of structural performance and sustainability to both these application sectors.

The project will look at continuous woven naturally-derived fibres, such as hemp and flax, as well as thermoplastic resin systems from plant sources. The use of thermoplastics will enable issues such as recyclability, process speed and cost to be effectively addressed, opening up a range of applications.

These new projects are being planned by NetComposites as collaborative developments, part-funded by the UK Department of Trade and Industry. Currently we have the opportunity to introduce and involve key OEM, Tier 1 and industrial UK companies to each of these projects, to help develop the technology to specifically suit their own products and requirements.

If you are a UK based company (or have a UK presence) and are interested in finding more out about how you can be involved in these projects, please contact Gordon Bishop by email at info@netcomposites.com.





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