ECOXY aims at developing innovative and sustainable bio-based thermoset composites that will show advanced functionalities: reparability, reprocessability and recyclability (3R).
Both the bio-based matrix and reinforcement materials that make up the composite are being developed within the project as well. Manufactured parts will be then validated for the demanding construction and automotive sectors.
Commonly used epoxy systems are composed of infusible and unreprocessable thermoset matrices and reinforcement fibres like glass or carbon fibre.
In ECOXY, conventional hardeners are substituted by dynamic hardeners giving the so obtained materials the innovative 3R properties and, thus, making them repairable, reprocessable and recyclable.
Additionally, fossil-fuel derived epoxy resins are being successfully substituted by bio-based epoxy resins and, in the same way, natural and/or bio-based fibres are being used as an alternative to glass fibre.
In the first months of the project, promising results have been reached: bio-based thermoset matrices showing 3R properties have been successfully synthesized at a lab scale (from epoxidized vegetable oils and from other kinds of bio-based molecules coming from lignin or from algae, for example) and they have shown good compatibility with the developed bio-based and natural fibres.
The synthesis of bio-based macromolecules is being now up-scaled and then bigger samples and demonstrators will be prepared and fully characterized.