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AIMPLAS is taking part in the European project ECOXY to develop composites for the construction and the automotive sectors that are repairable, reprocessable and recyclable.
Fibre-reinforced composites are of great interest for very demanding sectors, such as the construction and the automotive industries, thanks to their low weight and excellent mechanical properties. Nevertheless, they still have some disadvantages related to high cost and environmental impact, as they do not meet the 3R elements (reduce, reuse and recycle). Moreover, most of the polymers and reinforcements used in their manufacturing come from non-renewable sources or require a very significant energy expenditure.
In response to these challenges, AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, Spain, is taking part in the ECOXY project, coordinated by CIDETEC, which aims to develop new epoxy resins and reinforcements for the construction and the automotive sectors that are more environmentally-friendly and more economically competitive.
New resin formulations are being used. They replace the hardeners commonly used by others which are dynamic, allowing 3R demands to be met and making repair, reprocessability and recycling possible. The project also includes a focus on flame retardancy. Prototypes will be validated according to automotive and construction industry standards and certifications. An environmental and socioeconomic assessment will be also performed.
The project, which involves thirteen partners from eight countries, began last June and it will be completed in November 2020. ECOXY has been funded by the Joint Technology Initiative on Biobased Industries within the EU H2020 research and innovation programme.
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