Building boats with "eco" fibers and discover the two boats built
Interactive 3d of ecoracer769
An innovative composite to solve the problems related to the use of fibreglass
Composite materials normally used in the nautical industry are glass fibre fabrics “drowned” in an epoxy or polyester-based thermosetting resin matrix. The result has excellent mechanical properties, however, by analysing the individual components of the composite material, all the aspects that do not make a boat built in this way sustainable are highlighted. Glass fibres require high energy expenditure for their production, which takes place at high temperatures. At the end of life, moreover, it is no longer possible to separate the resin from the fibres and the only possibility to reuse a composite material is as inert to be added to less noble materials.
To give a concrete solution to the “fibreglass resin” problem Northern Light Composites has studied a composite material with fibers of vegetable origin, which reduce the environmental impact at the origin as they require a very low energy expenditure for their production, since they are already long and aligned in nature. As far as the matrix is concerned, Elium resin was chosen for its recyclability characteristics, which allow the composite to be given a new life at the end of its life. The core of the composite, in PET, was also chosen by the nlcomp design team because it guarantees the possibility of regeneration at the end of its life.
Recycling test nlcomp
The composite made by nlcomp with Arkema Elium compared to a more common vinylester resin. As can be clearly seen, the latter cannot be separated and reused, while the former guarantees the complete recyclability of the composite.
The nlcomp lamination process
Mechanical resistance test of sustainable and recyclable composite designed by nlcomp
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