Bcomp has collaborated with several academic partners (FHNW Brugg-Windisch, KU Leuven, FHNW St. Gallen) over several years to develop novel thermoplastic-flax prepregs, with the objective of matching the mechanical properties of flax-epoxy composites. In addition, thermoplastic matrices are tough and damage tolerant and offer the possibility of rapid processing.
Several application specific polymers were selected (stiffness, strength, strain or impact performance driven) and modified, comprising a cellulose derived thermoplastic and a co-polyoxymethylene (coPOM). As a first case study, a bicycle saddle sheet was produced with a brand new coPOM-ampliTex™ preform. Contact us to learn more about this new development, or book a meeting at the upcoming Eurobike in Friedrichshafen.
Sep 05, 2023Natural Fibres on the Rise at the SuMoth Challenge 2023
Audace Team from the University of Trieste takes the overall win at this year’s SuMoth Challenge with ‘Flying Lina’ – a boat that pushes the use of natural fibre composites on all levels. ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ flax fibres have been used for the hull and the team even arrived with some hybrid foils that used ampliTex™ to replace about 50% of the carbon fibres. Pushing the Limits Last year’s SuMoth Challenge already left us impressed. The student teams showed very interesting concepts and seeing their sustainable moths foiling across the water of beautiful Lake Garda was simply inspiring. This year, we were proud to be back and continue our support of the SuMoth Challenge as official partner. The young generation represented by these students is the future of our society and our high-performance industries. Events like the SuMoth Challenge are incredibly important for them to explore new ideas and gain valuable experience across so many different areas while working in an interdisciplinary team. And on top of everything they are just pushing the limits of sustainability in high-performance foiling applications. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yoWdAHfzgI Last year’s teams came back swinging with improved and completely new boats and concepts while several newcomers managed to impress with their first designs and incredible boats. Flax fibres had also become very popular among the teams to be used in many different areas of the boats. Certainly among the highlights was the moth from Solent University that proudly put its ampliTex™ reinforced hull directly on show and combined it with beautiful wings made from a custom-bent wood frame. Audace Team from University of Trieste came to Malcesine with their first moth and made quite the debut. ‘Flying Lina’ was clad in an eye-catching chrome wrap, hiding a hull fully made with ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ flax fibre reinforcements. Natural fibre composites were also extensively used across other components like their solid wings – a sandwich structure with honeycomb core and flax fibre face sheets – and their innovative foils that replaced about half of the carbon fibre reinforcement with ampliTex™ natural fibres. Sharing Natural Fibre Expertise While the SuMoth Challenge culminates at the shore of Lake Garda during the annual Foiling Week, it’s positive impact can be felt year-round. The student teams are hard at work all year long to develop their concepts, find the best solutions and try out new technologies. To provide them with a source of knowledge and to pass on important experiences from the industry to the students, the SuMoth Challenge regularly organises masterclasses with its partners. After Paolo Dassi’s masterclass on biobased composites from last year, we were happy to contribute to another masterclass in collaboration with Persico Marine this year. Persico welcomed a big group of students participating in the SuMoth Challenge to their facilities in Nembro where they were able to learn directly from Persico’s best boatbuilders. Paolo, our Marine and Industry Manager, was once more representing Bcomp and sharing some of our deep expertise on natural fibre composites with the students. Getting hands-on with our ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ flax fibre technologies gave the teams an opportunity to work with natural fibre composites and create test samples that were mechanically tested in a laboratory before they were given a new life as this year’s trophies. A Success Story Foiling Week and with it the SuMoth Challenge 2023 are already in the past, but we are still happily looking back on this outstanding event. More teams than ever have taken part in the challenge bringing together hundreds of students from across the world with the shared goal of advancing sustainable technologies and practices in the sailing world and beyond. We are happy to be a part of this success story and can’t wait to see the SuMoth Challenge come back even bigger next year and for the teams to push boundaries even further! The SuMoth Challenge The SuMoth challenge invites student teams from all over the world to design, build, and eventually race a sustainable foiling Moth. The teams bring together students from different backgrounds to work on a common goal and gain valuable experience with sustainable technologies driving the future of sustainable boat building. Teams have to go through all the phases from material selection and design process, to engineering, actually building the Moth and finally getting it on the water. Time and budget constraints add to the complexity of this endeavour. Such a project can only be tackled with the right support and the teams can count on the partners of the SuMoth challenge. Learn more: SuMoth Challenge www.sumoth.org Foiling Week www.foilingweek.com Images © Bcomp / Flurin Efinger Video © We Are Foiling Media Have a question or want to stay in touch? Contact us now
Jul 25, 2023Floating Into the Future: ‘Blue Nomad’ Harnesses the Power of Bcomp’s ampliTex™ Flax Fibres
As humanity grapples with climate change and rising sea levels, our collective imagination is more critical than ever. In light of this, we are thrilled to highlight the phenomenal work initiated by the students from Institut auf dem Rosenberg in St. Gallen and SAGA Space Architects. They've developed an extraordinary solution to address the environmental challenges we face: the ‘Blue Nomad’ floating habitat. ‘Blue Nomad’ is a solar-powered home designed for comfortable living on the ocean. It symbolises a future where we must explore and adapt to the changing earth's environment. Drawing inspiration from the first Polynesian nomadic settlements and equipped with solar panels for self-sustainability, the habitat promotes a vision of living and traveling on water. We're particularly excited about the project as the scaled model that was exhibited in London and Monaco prominently features our very own ampliTex™ flax fibres. A plan of building an actual prototype of the floating home is being developed by Institut auf dem Rosenberg and SAGA. It could be made from a structurally optimised weave of flax fibre, showcasing the future of organic and regenerative high-performance materials replacing conventional synthetic and fossil-based technologies. As a company, we are proud to provide sustainable material solutions, and seeing our flax fibres used in such an innovative and meaningful project is both humbling and inspiring.‘Blue Nomad’ isn't just a solitary habitat, but a concept for a new kind of community. Imagined as modular blocks, these habitats can form larger communities and oceanic farms, allowing inhabitants to share resources while moving from one oceanic farm to the next. It's a striking vision of a future where the lines between land and water blur, and sustainability and community building lie at the heart of human settlements. But this vision is not just theoretical. Plans are being made for a maiden voyage of ‘Blue Nomad’ across Europe, powered purely by solar energy, promoting ocean sustainability, climatology, and future nomadism. As our company mission aligns with the promotion of sustainable and regenerative materials in all sectors from mobility to recreational and infrastructure, we are thrilled to be part of such a forward-thinking initiative. This project serves as a powerful reminder of what we can achieve when we unite education, innovative design, and sustainability. The 'Blue Nomad' represents the future we envision – a future where sustainable materials play a crucial role in safeguarding our planet. The 'Blue Nomad' project was exhibited at the London Design Biennale 2023 as well as the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge where it was captivating visitors and garnering significant attention from the public. Learn Morewww.instrosenberg.ch/journal/rosenberg-launches-the-blue-nomad-project/www.saga.dk/projects/blue-nomad All images © Institut auf dem Rosenberg Have a question or want to stay in touch? Contact us now
Jul 10, 2023Natural Fibre Composite Bodywork for Team Würth TRD Hilux MSB Tras 135
--- Update 30 August 2023 - original post below --- Team Würth TRD Hilux MSB Tras 135 has successfully completed the 2023 Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR). The Toyota Hilux, piloted by Mr. Masanao Nitta and his co-driver, Mr. Satanako, and clad in a unique natural fibre composite bodywork, crossed the finish line in Laos in 10th place overall. This even meant that they occupied the impressive 9th rank of the T1D class at the end of the race. The second Toyota Hilux with a Bcomp natural fibre bodywork and sporting the number 131 came into 18th place overall, consolidating the successful participation at this year's rally. Both teams were very happy to arrive safely and conclude a very successful participation to the 2023 AXCR. The natural fibre bodywork of both cars held up incredibly well and managed to withstand the challenging and rough conditions during the tough racing where human and machine were pushed to the limits. After the race, driver & Tras CEO Masanao Nitta commented: "It was an extremely hard-fought race to get into the top ten of the AXCR. But we did it! The more sustainable natural fibre parts go well together with the beautiful natural environment of a cross country rally. The increased damping properties of the material ensured minimal damage to vehicle and environment during the many impacts in the rough terrain and on narrow paths between trees and rocks.” --- original post --- The 2023 edition of the Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR) is just around the corner and we are happy to be involved again with our dear friends from Tras Ltd. Team Würth TRD Hilux MSB Tras 135 is competing again after their successful participation last year which saw them as the sole team running a natural fibre composite bodywork. This engagement earned the team a Special Award which rewards the effort to reduce CO2 emissions in the vehicle production process, while keeping the performance and joy of motorsports in mind. The 28th Asia Cross Country Rally will be held in Thailand and Laos between 13 - 19 August 2023. The team will be led by Mr. Masanao Nitta (60) and his co-driver, Mr. Satonaka (26). Mr. Nitta is the founder and CEO of the Japanese Advanced Composite Materials Specialist company Tras Ltd. and is an experienced driver. His skill is sought after in the automotive industry and in the MotoGP. For the AXCR, Tras developed a unique natural fibre composite body for the Toyota Hilux. Flax Fibre Composites Provided by Bcomp Bcomp Ltd. supports the Würth TRD Hilux MSB Tras 135 team as a materials sponsor. The team already successfully completed the AXCR rally in the T1 class for modified cross-country cars in 2022 and even won a Special Award for the use of sustainable natural fibre materials. By replacing the original parts with flax-based ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ solutions by Bcomp Ltd., the potential CO2 reduction from cradle to gate is up to 85% compared to parts made purely of carbon. Learn More www.tras.co.jp/en/company Full press release All images © Tras Ltd. Have a question or want to stay in touch? Contact us now
Jun 12, 2023Sustainable Flax Composites Enter Serial Automotive Production in New Volvo EX30
The small SUV focuses on sustainability and is designed to have the lowest carbon footprint of any model in Volvo Cars’ history* Bcomp’s ampliTex™ natural fibre composites to be used in EX30 dashboard, and door trim ampliTex™ combines a low environmental impact from renewable natural fibres with high performance and unique design opportunities Fribourg, Switzerland… Swiss sustainable lightweighting company Bcomp has announced the application of its natural fibre composite technology, ampliTex™, in the new Volvo EX30. This landmark project will see Bcomp’s flax fibre composites offered as an optional trim for the dashboard, and doors of the EX30. The collaboration follows Volvo Cars Tech Fund’s Series B investment in Bcomp last year. While Bcomp’s natural fibre composites have been well-proven in demanding motorsport applications like Formula 1, Formula E, and SuperFormula, this is the first production vehicle to reach consumers. The highly innovative Volvo EX30 is an all-electric small SUV that combines safety, sustainability, cutting-edge tech, and Scandinavian design. Drivers can choose from four distinct interior ‘rooms’, two of which embrace the natural aesthetic of ampliTex™ trim panels: the Mist and Pine rooms. Bcomp had worked with Volvo Cars previously, in 2018, for the Volvo Ocean Race Recycled Plastics Demonstrator Vehicle. This was followed by the Concept Recharge in 2021, which demonstrated the future direction that Volvo Cars would take in all-electric car development. It included extensive use of Bcomp composites in both the interior and exterior, from storage areas to bumpers and sills. ampliTex™ is a technical reinforcement fabric made from renewable flax fibres grown in Europe. It combines sustainability, low weight and unique design opportunities. The use of ampliTex™ in the EX30 marks a significant stride in Bcomp’s vision for mobility, reflecting a shared commitment to sustainability and long-term efforts to reduce the lifetime emissions of passenger vehicles. It is also in support of Volvo Cars’ sustainability strategy, which includes the aims to sell solely all-electric cars by 2030 and to achieve climate neutrality by 2040. The Volvo EX30, featuring Bcomp's ampliTex™ technology, was officially launched on June 7th 2023 and is available for order or pre-order in selected markets. Christian Fischer, CEO and Co-Founder at Bcomp, commented: “This is a milestone moment for Bcomp. We are all incredibly proud to see ampliTex™ composites in the new Volvo EX30 – it will be the first production vehicle delivered to customers with our materials! We have had the pleasure to work closely with Volvo Cars for a long time, sharing the same vision for sustainable mobility and the potential for biobased materials to contribute to a circular future. This is the first step of our plan to scale into the large-scale mobility industry and continue our mission to help our customers decarbonize their supply chains." For more information about the new Volvo EX30, please visit: www.volvocars.com *The lowest carbon footprint of any Volvo car to date statement relates to globally available products over 200,000 kms of driving. All images © Volvo Car Group Have a question or want to stay in touch? Contact us now