The EU-funded SUSPENS project will develop over 95 % bio-sourced epoxy and polyester resins, with new formulations leading to high performance in a short cycle. These resins will be combined with sustainable reinforcements made with natural and recycled fibres to make sandwich parts. Recycling solutions will also be developed. An innovative pyrolysis process will use the waste stream released by the carbon fibre transformation process to optimise energy consumption. A specific solvolysis process will reclaim the biobased resins. The approach will be demonstrated by manufacturing and reclaiming a car battery pack, a leisure boat deck and hull and an aircraft winglet. A holistic life cycle analysis will support the demonstration by measuring the gains obtained on the environmental impact on the cradle-to-cradle cycle.
SUSPENS will develop a holistic approach, from bio-sourced and recycled materials to faster and lesser energy demanding processes, to produce sustainable composite structural parts, ensuring their manufacturability from the design conceptualization. This ambition is basically achieved by the R&D of the coupling bio/circular-materials and processes. SUSPENS will develop up to 95% bio-sourced thermoset resins, with formulations allowing fast cured manufacturing processes and properties adapted to high performance lightweight composite applications.
To produce the parts, these resins will be combined with sustainable continuous reinforcing fibre such as natural based cellulose fibres, lignin-based CF, recycled CF staple yarn and continuous GF made from recycled GF for producing well engineered sandwich and hollow parts for transport industries. Some of these parts will be functionalised for added value and reduced assembling times. SUSPENS will also develop an innovative approach for sustainable, optimized energy reduced pyrolysis, using waste stream from the carbonization of precursors, reducing environmental impact of carbon fibre production. For the bio-epoxy, a specific solvolysis will be developed to separate the matrix from the fibres. SUSPENS will assess the valorisation of oil and organic components in these two recycling approaches to transform them into by-products. LCA and LCC studies will show that SUSPENS approaches, combining sustainable materials and processes, can reduce the CO2eq emissions at expected levels of about 40-50%. These achievements will be validated by producing three demonstrators with their respective business models: (1) automotive battery pack for electric vehicle, (2) sailing boat hull/deck and (3) aero-structure winglet part. SUSPENS results will pay-back in terms of lesser energy consumption and environmentally friendly products that can be recycled and expects to bring its assets to the market end of 2028.