After three year spent at developing advanced biobased composites, SSUCHY’s technical work packages maturity enabled strong interconnections between partners. The project is starting to give tangible outcomes up to the demonstrators and starts is final year with impatience and great confidence!
“We are all looking forward to that final year and to close all the nice collaborations we have been developing in the past 3 years” - concluded Vincent Placet, Coordinator of the Project.
Focus on the Main Outcomes
Applied Research – Polymers
Great advanced were made towards transformation of wood fractions into building blocks for making thermoset polymers.
Notably, a published paper by Quentin Ruiz from Laurent Plasseraud’s lab in Université de Bourgogne managed to create a matrix – Biogelnox – compatible with industrial scale production. The biobased epoxy resin obtained by their process showed similar and – sometimes better – mechanical and thermal properties compared to the traditional DGEBA benchmark.
Additionally, a paper published by Ivan Kumaniaev from Joseph Samec’s group in Stockholm University did successfully uptake downstream residues of birchbark fractionation – primarily serving as a building block for biobased thermoset polymer manufacturing – into a biofuel manufacturing process. We are very proud of the highly interdisciplinary approach also involving Karel Van Acker’s group (KU Leuven) and Vincent PLACET’s group (Université de Franche-Comté).
Applied Research – Hemp Fiber Reinforcements
Thanks to great joint work from ENIT & ENSAIT related to the primary and secondary processing of Hemp Fibres, hemp reinforcement greatly progressed and a batch is currently under production at in Linificio‘s facilities. It will be further used in SSUCHY’s demonstrators.
Aditionally, the plant fiber processing lead several research articles notably “Towards hemp fabrics for high-performance composites: Influence of weave pattern and features“ , the “Investigation of the potential of hemp fibre straws harvested using a combine machine for the production of technical load-bearing textiles” and the “Influence of Process Parameters on Properties of Hemp Woven Reinforcements for Composite Applications: Mechanical Properties, Bias-extension Tests and Fabric Forming”
Sustainable vibes: The Green Loudspeaker by Wilson Benesch
The “Green Loudspeaker” belonging to Wilson Benesch’s Precision Series reached its first complete form! As of Today, it is the first-of-its-kind biobased high-end audio speaker with tangible market possibilities. With great deal of collaborative work, the final demonstrator is composed of an eco-friendly sandwich material notably composed of a woven hemp fabric developed by Linificio & ENSAIT combined with a recycled PET foam. Aesthetic qualities, such as color, are very good and when tested at FEMTO, it demonstrated better vibro-acoustic performances than the current version of the loudspeaker in both low (< 80 Hz) and high (> 6 kHz) frequencies which is very good news for audiophiles.
Flying with natural fibers: Electrical aircraft Cockpit Panel by EADCO
The Cockpit Panel for Electrical Aicraft has been entirely redesigned by two of our partners, Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS) and EADCO GmbH. The core of the panel is made of a sandwich composite composed of an epoxy/flax composite the FlaxtapeTM, recently marketed by the French company Ecotecnilin combined with aerospace-graded foam with a bio-based content of approximately 40% in weight. To our knowledge, SSUCHY’s demonstrator cockpit panel is currently the only biobased structural cockpit part to have reached performances compatible with EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) regulations requirements and more specifically the very harsh aircraft specifications and certification rules (CS-23). Objective for the last year of SSUCHY: replace the FlaxtapeTM by a hemp-based reinforcement treated with a biobased epoxy polymer.
Greener mobility: Biobased Monocoque scooter frame by NPSP and car trunk load floor by Trèves
NPSP is working towards the development and production of an enhanced bio-based monocoque scooter frame. With the help of Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS), NPSP entirely redesigned a first version of the prototype that was based on the initial scooter containing a steel frame. Notably, they managed to correct local failure by putting in place local strengthening thus reinforcing safety & durability. The overall work lead to a drastic reduction of the expected manufacturing costs compared to the current process costs while increasing the overall biobased content.
Trèves is targeting weight and noise reduction by developing a hemp-based trunk loadfloor, as an alternative to a current B-Preg® solution composed of glass fibres, honeycomb and Polyurethane. It is also expected to display better creep resistance at high temperature together with an increased damping capacity. To stay competitive in the automotive market, the new solution had to be fast, simple, and compatible with existing production lines. As of now, UFC/FEMTO Institute finalizing data analysis on the final selected materials.
Great Progression in Sharing Scientific & Technical Results
Participation in External Events
Vincent Placet (project’s coordinator, UFC), Aart Willem Van Vuure and Pierre Ouagne (Executive Board members, KUL and ENIT) gladly represented SSUCHY in the BBI Stakeholder Forum in December 2019. The star of the booth was NPSP‘s Van-Eko Scooter, which was specially brought to Bruxelles for the occasion. More on our dedicated article.
Due to the COVID-19 situation and the cancellation or post-poned events, SSUCHY’s partners only participated in 3 scientific congress this year (compared to respectively 10 and 12 for the Year 1 and Year 2 respectively). Everyone is looking forward to 2021 and the coming opportunities : JEC2021, BIOKET2021, ICNF2021, Fiber Society Spring Conference 2021 , ELB , JNC22, ICCM23, SAMPE 2021 and more!
Scientific Production: Quantity & Quality!
Since the start of the project in August 2017, SSUCHY’s partners authored 21 scientific articles including 13 peer-reviewed research articles and 8 conference proceedings and gave more than 20 oral presentations in scientific congress. 1 patent application involving 2 partners was done in 2020.
The project also contributed to train 12 Students with diverse backgrounds, preparing various degrees in Design, Engineering, Chemistry, Material Science or Electromechanics. A big thank to all of them!
First PhD defense: Anne-Clémence Corbin from ENSAIT
Last July, we had the pleasure to congratulate Anne-Clémence Corbin from ENSAIT as the first PhD student to graduate in the frame of SSUCHY. We wish her lots of success in the next steps of her career and look forward to the next PhD defense.
The project share is very happy with its “Success Stories” highlighting our SME & Industry contributions. So far Linificio, NPSP, EADCOand NOURYON were willing to share their experience. More articles to come by the end of the year !
We are glad that the community around the project is growing and reacting to the information we share. Hopefully we will be able to rely on such great followers to ensure the best uptake of results in the last year of the project !