ESPRIT Explain New Materials and Processing Methods

13 March 2012

The 1st Information Event of the ESPRIT Project took place on 18th January 2012
in Kaiserslautern outlining new materials and processing methods developed during the project.

Esprit is an SME targeted collaborative project part-funded by the European Commission. It has 12 partners from 8 European countries and a total budget of nearly 6 million Euros. The project partners are AIMPLAS, AVK, EATC, Celstran, Comfil, Fibroline, Fricke und Mallah Microwave Technology, IVW, NetComposites, PEMU, Polisilk, Promolding and Regloplas.

According to ESPRIT, the project has a duration of 3.5 years and is due to end this month, with a goal to develop Self Reinforced Polymer composites (SRP’s). ESPRIT explain that, in the first 2 years, the partners developed a new material group which are all thermoplastic composites based on the principle of having a reinforcement and matrix of the same basic polymer family. They say these offer the advantages of being lighter in weight for equivalent stiffness, having improved recyclability and much improved impact resistance.

On 18th January 2012, the partners of the ESPRIT project presented their first results to potential end users, including Toyota and Samsonite.

ESPRIT says that the new materials are already in use in the following applications:

  • Stiffening plate for wheel arch liner (AMG Mercedes)
  • Rear diffuser (Bentley Continental)
  • Ext. Engine Cover (Volvo)
  • Instrument and door panels
  • Acoustic modules
  • Cockpits via SAS
  • Grab handle bracket
  • Shin Guard
  • Rod stabiliser
  • Orthotic Pre form
  • Orthotic Flat sheet
  • Helmet
  • Airbag cover
  • Nail gun Magazine
  • Fan blade
  • Foot plate
  • Battery holder
  • Sun Visor
  • Shoe caps (Induction demonstrator)
  • Green house fan blade
  • Climbing frame cover
  • Fire hydrant/Tank cap

ESPRIT explains that there are many more applications where SRP’s can potentially replace standard unreinforced polymers or glass-reinforced thermoplastic composites.

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