Fibre-reinforced plastics (composite materials) have a low specific gravity and are at the same time very stiff and strong. That is why they are increasingly used in applications in which those properties are important, such as in aeroplanes, cars, buildings, windmills and sports equipment.
While the European composites sector is experiencing a significant growth, end-users are increasingly demanding materials of natural origin (bio-based).
However, the implementation of bio-based materials in end applications is still limited for the time being.
Biocomposites have the advantage of being very light. Unfortunately, the large variation in fibre properties makes a robust design difficult and their intrinsic moisture sensitivity can lead to premature degradation.
In addition, the multitude of different biomaterials requires a thorough knowledge of materials during product design.
Therefore, a clear dissemination of knowledge around these themes is necessary in order to make full use of the strengths of biocomposites in Flemish industry.
With the BREPLA project we want to accelerate the transition to the production and application of bio-based composites.
We do this by expanding our knowledge of biocomposites and by stimulating and activating the industrial implementation.
Cooperation with companies is the key to a successful transition.
The project focuses on 3 sectors with the greatest potential:
- furniture industry
- transport sector
- consumer goods sector
By means of collective actions and broad, easily accessible awareness raising, we involve the entire value chain in the transition to biocomposites:
- technological training for frontrunners
- hands-on workshops for innovation followers
- composite demonstrators
- a project website, blogs, etc. so that it quickly becomes clear to companies whether and how quickly they can implement the technology.