Advanced materials are behind the majority of today's technical innovations. Lightweight and high-strength materials such as glass and carbon fibre composites are important in the construction of fuel-efficient and high-performing transportation structures. Unfortunately, they lag behind in terms of recyclability and recovery. The end-of-life aspect of these materials is crucial because they release toxic substances into the environment when landfilled. With this in mind, the EU-funded REPOXYBLE project will create a new class of high-performance bio-based epoxy composites. These will be recyclable, low-cost and energy-efficient. The aim is to minimise resource use and energy of manufacturing processes and optimise waste disposal of future advanced materials. The project’s approach integrates product performance, multifunctionality and sustainability.
Materials, especially advanced materials, are the backbone and source of prosperity of an industrial society” (Materials 2030 Manifesto). The Green Deal and the Digital Decade establish high-priority policies for Europe, where 70% of all technical innovations are directly or indirectly attributed to advanced materials. Lightweight and high-strength materials have consistently played a key role in the construction of fuel-efficient and high-performing transportation structures.
Lightweight materials such as glass and carbon fibres composites are commonly used due to their intrinsic properties such as high mechanical performance. However, the poor recyclability and recovery aspect poses a significant challenge. The end-of-life aspect of these materials is crucial, as when landfilled they release toxic substances into the environment. Moreover, minimising resource use, energy of manufacturing processes and optimising waste disposal of future advanced materials can help mitigate cost and product’s end-to-end footprint across its global lifecycle, thereby significantly improving its overall environmental performance. REPOXYBLE will create a new class of high-performance materials -bio-based epoxy composites- targeting cost and energy effectiveness, recyclability and sustainability.
REPOXYBLE assumes an upstream approach more efficient and effective than having to address deficiencies at the end of the product development process. This approach integrates product performance, multifunctionality, sustainability, safety and potential legal concerns, while there is still time to act, on the monomers’ synthesis, the resin formulation and the future composite design. REPOXYBLE is driven by two complementary market applications in the aerospace and automotive sectors.