The use of fibre-reinforced plastic composites in the automotive industry has grown significantly in recent years because of their low weight, design flexibility and corrosion resistance. These however have significant emoddied and end-of-life environmental impacts.
Westfield Technology group have previously worked on a Research and Development project, which looked at the manufacturing of sustainable, high-performance biocomposites for lightweight vehicles.
The project team consisted of Westfield, NetComposites Ltd., University of East Anglia (UEA), Element Materials Technology and the Adapt Low-Carbon Group.
Currently, such materials are used only in car interiors. Overcoming the limits to the durability of biocomposites will open up a vast market, with 80% of vehicle components capable of being manufactured in the UK; lowering the environmental footprint of the product – from resource depletion to climate change impact.
Resistance and cost-effectiveness