SeaBioComp • Development and demonstration of durable biobased composites for a marine environment
SeaBioComp aims to develop demonstrators of innovative biobased thermoplastic composites, with:
- at least equivalent mechanical properties
- durability tailored to the specific application (2 to over 20 years)
- reduced CO2 emissions (30%) and reduced ecotoxic impact (due to microplastics). Since the focus is on thermoplastic composites, the recyclability of the recovered materials will also be demonstrated. Overall, the ecological impact should be reduced by at least 50%.
It is hoped that this will lead to a shift in mindset along the value chain, as biobased composites become a realistic alternative to their petroleum-based counterparts. Consequently, the concept of a bio-economy for marine applications will be introduced and taken up by numerous SMEs. The authorities can take the demonstrated advantages into account in legislation and public procurement.
The main results expected from SeaBioComp
- a group of semi-industrial demonstrators of biocomposites, each representing a different composite production technique
- creation of pilot production equipment for additive manufacturing of fibre-reinforced thermoplastic biocomposites
- optimised analytical protocols to characterise and demonstrate the effects of the durability and ecotoxicity of biocomposites in a marine environment
- demonstrated reduction in ecological impact (at least 50%)
- formation of a collaborative cross-regional cluster (seven RTOs, five industrial partners and three associations) to promote closer, more effective operational collaboration among the key stakeholders within the bio-economy (Key Enabling Technology) and more specifically the biocomposites for the marine environment
The best expertise in the research fields concerning the formulation of biopolymers and the production of textiles, the implementation of composites, durability trials in a marine environment and ecological impact are available in several well-regarded institutes along the ‘two seas area’. For each field, at least two institutes from different regions have been selected to bolster cross-border collaboration and build up the expertise needed to meet the objectives set for this multidisciplinary project.
Associations, public organisations and businesses representing the various regions complete the consortium. This strengthens collaboration, facilitates dissemination and cross-border industrial developments, and will help raise awareness of the biobased economy, supported by public procurement, standardisation and legislation.
Demand for composites for applications in a marine environment is on the rise due to the growth of fish and seaweed farming, energy harvesting, and the boating, pontoon, anchoring and buoy markets. At the moment, only fossil-based resources are used. Concern about the long-term ecological impact is growing. Waste and microplastics are contaminating the sea, harming marine life.
Consequently, renewable materials must be developed to slow the depletion of fossil-based materials, limit greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the ecotoxic impact of microplastics. These materials also have to meet the highest technical performance standards and withstand harsh sea conditions over many years, including mechanical forces, an aggressive environment, and intense UV light.
- Centexbel(Belgium) (lead partner)
- Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Méthodes et Processus Industriels(ARMINES) and IMT Lille Douai (France)
- Centre Européen des Textiles Innovants(CETI) (France)
- Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer(IFREMER) (France)
- Marine South East Ltd(England)
- Poly Products(the Netherlands)
- University of Plymouth(England)
- University of Portsmouth(England)
- Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee(VLIZ) (Belgium)
Project type: Interreg 2 Seas
Start date: 1 March 2019
Duration: three and a half years
Total cost: €4,129,325.35
ERDF funding: €2,477,595.21
Learn more at http://www.seabiocomp.eu/
Download the project flyer
How can I get involved?
Join the SeaBioComp Interest Group to receive updates on project activities, events and results, and encourage efficient collaboration between manufacturers, universities and regulatory authorities: www.seabiocomp.eu/interest_group