01 July 2014
01 July 2014
Biocomposites are steadily gaining in importance for the future of the manufacturing sector, and Composites Europe 2014 is set to present the full potential of these bio-based composite materials from 7th – 9th October, 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
According to Reed Exhibitions, organisers of Composites Europe, a number of exhibitors specialising in biocomposites will showcase their product solutions at the show. The nova-Institut from Hürth, Germany, will also be exhibiting at the trade fair. For over two decades, the private and independent research institute has been globally active in areas such as raw-material supply analysis, techno-economic evaluation and market research.
Michael Carus Managing Director of the nova-Institut, sys he already sees a positive trajectory for biocomposites being used in a range of manufacturing applications. “In 2012, about 100 companies in the EU produced more than 350,000 tonnes of wood- and natural-fibres reinforced biocomposites. The majority of these products were extruded into decking using wood flour and wood fibres (wood-plastic composites, WPC). Natural fibres are deployed primarily for use as compression-moulding parts in car interiors. In 2012, 90,000 tonnes of these natural fibre composites (NFC) were used by automobile manufacturers across Europe. The combined share of WPC and NFC biocomposites has already reached 15% of the total composites market.”
In a recent study , the nova-Institut laid out a number of different scenarios for the future unfolding of the biocomposites landscape. Says Carus “A favourable political and economic framework has been creating clear forward momentum, particularly for injection and compression moulding, which will replace significant amounts of conventional composite materials. This would greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At Composites Europe, the institute will participate in a group stand focussed on bio-based composites while offering project development and consultation services in areas such as bio-based materials, techno-economic evaluation and eco balancing.
Reed explaisn that, so far, exhibitors in Composite Europes biocomposites segment include the Belgian companies Amacell Benelux, BASALTEX and Beologic. Additionally, the Swiss firm Bcomp, the European Industrial Hemp Association based in Hürth, the Dresden non-profit Forum Technologie und Wirtschaft and the Gütersloh weaving mill Güth & Wolf will present their solutions in this area. The roster also includes ISOWOOD from Rudolstadt and Jakob Winter from Nauheim. Displays will focus primarily on materials based on wood and natural fibres such as flax and hemp. The Brensbach company BIOWERT will present materials containing meadow grass. On show will be natural-fibre needle felt nonwovens for compression moulding parts as well as a variety of product solutions made from natural-fibre compression moulding parts – specialty cases, for example – and technical foams and insulation materials.
“The event marks the first time bio-based composites will be highlighted as a special theme in connection with the nova-Institut,” says Carus. “Numerous key players from the bio-based industry have already booked their spots for 7th – 9th October. Additional companies are welcome to register ahead of the end-of-July deadline. In addition to companies from the WPC and NFC segment, the event targets enterprises associated with bio-based Duroplast and thermoplastics whose polymers are suitable for composites.”
Composites are considered hard to join and researchers have predominantly focused on mechanical joining technologies including crimping, gluing, riveting or screwing. The Composites Europe exhibition in Stuttgart, Germany, on 6-8 November will show the advantages and drawbacks of each of these processes.
The Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) and the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) at RWTH Aachen University are commencing a study into the use of thermoplastic tapes in injection moulded parts. Companies interested in joining the study are invited to a kick-off event during Fakuma 2018 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, on 18 October.
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