We are very pleased to have the opportunity to share some excellent news. Our new bamboo reinforcements pre-impregnated with thermoplastic matrices are successfully used in the embossing process. This technology is widely spread, especially in the automotive industry, it allows composite parts to be manufactured at a fairly high production rate.
Investments required to implement this technology are significant, but diluted in the volume of parts produced, it becomes negligible. The production cycles are less than a few minutes, which allows a daily production of a large number of composite parts. Furthermore, energy consumption is drastically reduced compared to other composite technologies, as the moulds do not need to be cooled between two cycles. Another important advantage is that our 100% biobased matrix prepregs, such as the PA11 version (from castor oil), require significantly lower processing temperatures compared to other more traditional pretroleum-based matrices, thus optimising the energy input for initial heating.
We would like to point out that it was within the framework of the collaborative project BAMCO, with the support of Arkema, CIRIMAT and Compositadour, that Cobratex was able to initiate its first thermoplastic prepregs. The next logical step in this collaboration was to characterise our products within thermocompression stamping. For obvious reasons, we cannot make all the achievements public, but as an example, the outcome of this synergy has given life to a fully biobased bike seat.
This outstanding validation opens the door to multiple automotive applications. This market generates an enormous demand and is very proactive concerning environmental issues. Biobased bamboo alternatives fully meet the automotive industry’s objectives to become cleaner and more environmentally friendly. This completes the range of achievements delivered by the BAMCO consortium, such as the radome prototype produced by Mecano-ID for the aeronautics sector. It is composed of a new biobased matrix developed by Specific Polymers and made from cashew nut shells. In the same perspective, an overhead compartment door (aircraft interior) demonstrator was produced and very much appreciated by industrial companies involved in the industrial sector.
Congratulations to all our partners for successfully achieving the challenging objectives set at the beginning of the project several years back. Will these remarkable results lead to a further collaboration to push onto the market optimum bamboo biobased composites ? Let’s just wait and see…