back

Bcomp & KTM Technologies win JEC Innovation Award

A motocross brake cover developed by Swiss sustainable lightweighting company, Bcomp, and collaborator Austrian KTM Technologies, has won a 2022 JEC Innovation Award.

Combining the best traits from thermoset and thermoplastic polymers, the innovative part also cuts thermoset-related CO2 emissions by 82 per cent.

 

The cover uses a pre-impregnated version of Bcomp’s technical fabric ampliTex™ to form the basis of a lightweight and stiff structure. Once cured, the flax fibre composite part uses KTM Technologies’ CONEXUS coupling layer to bond reinforcement ribs, fasteners and edge protection in the form of PA6, a thermoplastic. With an innovative chemical composition, CONEXUS provides a direct bond between thermoset resin of the natural fibre composite and PA6 thermoplastic components.

 

The PA6 is over-moulded, providing complete edge coverage of the flax fibre part while protecting against interlaminar damage caused by impacts or flying debris – a regular impact during motocross – and providing an aesthetic surface finish. Compared to a traditionally injection moulded part, the Bcomp and KTM Technologies brake cover saves weight, has increased stiffness and reduced vibrations, all while significantly reducing the part’s overall CO2 footprint thanks to carbon-neutral ampliTex™. After product life, the coupling layer allows a separation of the parts, due to a lower melting temperature than the thermoplastic material.

Replacing carbon and glass fibre with natural fibres

Made entirely from flax, ampliTex™ is a versatile weave developed for sustainable composite production. By integrating ampliTex™ instead of a regular carbon and glass fibre layup, Bcomp and KTM Technologies reduced the CO2 footprint of the thermoset components by around 82 per cent.

 

Another important benefit of using  Bcomp’s flax technology is that the parts are safer for riders and marshals. Unlike carbon fibre which shatters and splinters, composites made using ampliTex™ feature ductile fracture behaviour. This also means that carbon fibre-related punctures would also be a thing of the past.

 

With this demonstrator component, we have succeeded in proving the series production capability of this technology. This is an important milestone for our efforts in the field of sustainable engineering and the use of bio-based composites. This is a testament that with bio-based plastics and fibres, it is possible to produce performance components in series. We are very proud to see that our project and technology was recognized and awarded by the JEC committee,” says Hans Lochner, Team Leader Material & Application at KTM Technologies.

 

Christian Fischer, CEO and Co-Founder at Bcomp, commented “This project has been an exciting demonstration of the progress made by KTM Technologies and Bcomp and we are thrilled to have been shortlisted and win a 2022 JEC Innovation Award. The idea of sustainable bodywork with valid and beneficial end-of-life options is revolutionary with far-reaching implications. KTM Technologies’s CONEXUS has been a critical enabler of our ampliTex™-based composites in new applications, allowing us to add local reinforcements, attachment points and edge protection using thermoplastic parts while still gaining the advantages of our flax fibre composite technologies. Thank you to the organisers and judges of the JEC Innovation Awards 2022 for this important recognition.”

End-of-life options

With sustainability and the circular economy becoming an increasingly important force within motorsport and mobility, projects like this brake cover are breaking new ground. With ongoing advancement in the development of fully bio-based epoxy resin and bio-based PA6 already available, KTM Technologies plans to develop a completely bio-based brake cover in the near future. At the end of the part’s life, the thermoset and thermoplastic components can be easily separated thanks to the CONEXUS foil, the PA6 can be recycled and reused while the natural fibre composite can be used to generate electricity via thermal energy recovery.

“The reduction of the CO2 footprint in the production of motorbikes and scooters will play an even more important role in the future. Particularly two-wheelers powered by electricity or e-fuels are an alternative to cars in daily individual transport due to their low weight and small footprint with a good range. This segment is going to prove a large applicability for numerous components to use this technology. We are looking forward to further develop this and other parts together with Bcomp and our partners,” commented Michael Heider, Lead Engineer Material & Application at KTM Technologies.

Johann Wacht, Motorsport & Supercars Manager at Bcomp, commented: “The innovative race ready bond between a high-performance thermoset ampliTex™ natural fibre reinforcement and a bio-based thermoplastic, enabled by KTMs unique Conexus technology, delivers sustainable lightweighting parts with significant scalability potential. We have proven that motorsport is the perfect platform to showcase, test and validate technologies while delivering first scaling opportunities towards large-scale series applications. We truly believe that this innovation can be an important step for the premium mobility sector towards a sustainable circular economy.

 

The motocross brake cover will be presented at JEC World 2022 from 3-5 May in Paris at Bcomp’s booth, Hall 5 A45.

Have a question or want to stay in touch?

Recent News

thumbnail

Feb 20, 2023

Sustainable High-End Luggage

As the world wakes up to the immense challenges ahead, many people are looking for new ways to incorporate sustainable products into their lifestyles. While minimising travel and favouring more sustainable means of transport is an important way to reduce an individual’s carbon footprint, integrating more sustainable materials into everyday use items and making high-quality, long-lasting, and repairable products is also essential. Could flax-fibre composites with a bio-based resin be used as a more sustainable alternative to other composites and plastics? Overcoming the conventional Launched in 2015, HORIZN STUDIOS was Europe’s first direct-to-consumer travel brand. Focused on innovative design, convenience, and sustainable solutions, it was the first company in the world to release luggage with a removable charging function. Dismayed by ‘throwaway’ culture, its founders Jan Roosen and Stefan Holwe wanted to design and engineer aesthetic travel solutions with long-term quality and durability. Through this journey, HORIZN STUDIOS developed several interesting travel products, even collaborating with NASA astronaut Alyssa Carson in 2019. In 2021, however, HORIZN STUDIOS was looking to really revolutionise luggage design. Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, the company intended to create the world’s most sustainable luxury luggage. Embracing a philosophy of lightweight, high-performance, and sustainable materials, HORIZN STUDIOS sought out a partner that would be able to simultaneously fulfil these demanding criteria. https://www.bcomp.ch/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Horizn_CircleOne_gif.mp4 Natural fibre composite technologies Already proven in the unrelenting world of motorsport and the equally challenging arena of ultra-high-end furniture, Bcomp’s innovative ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ are ground-breaking carbon-neutral composite reinforcements made entirely from flax fibre. Cultivated across Europe, flax is an indigenous plant that has been part of the agricultural industry for centuries. With low water and nutrient requirements and little need for pesticides and fertilisers, it is a popular rotational crop with excellent utility – useful for feed, making flax oil, and its fibres can be used in textiles. ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ make the most of flax’s inherent mechanical properties, creating composite parts with high stiffness, resistance to breakage, torsion, and compression – perfect to form the shell of tough and sturdy luggage. Using appropriate care and processes, Bcomp’s materials also offer a flawless surface finish, suitable for luxury product applications. Most importantly, ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ are some of the most sustainable composite technologies available today, particularly in the high-performance category. Analysis of past projects has shown that Bcomp’s technologies can provide a material emission reduction of 90% when compared to its most commonly used equivalent, carbon fibre. Overall, they offer an outstanding 80-85% cradle-to-gate emission reduction, while retaining many of the performance benefits. This was perfect for HORIZN STUDIOS’s new Circle One range. A revolutionary new luggage solution Circle One is HORIZN STUDIOS’s European-made sustainable luggage range, harnessing ampliTex™ in its BioX technology, a patented hard-shell luggage innovation. With a much lower carbon footprint than carbon fibre or aluminium – including energy consumption in manufacture and use of a bio-based resin – BioX is one of the most sustainable hardcase luggage materials on the market. Thanks to ampliTex™, BioX is not only a more sustainable material, but it even allows to eliminate some petroleum-based materials that would normally be used from the manufacturing process. Unlike other luggage materials that would be sent to landfill at the end of their useful life, the Circle One range has various end-of-life recycling options thanks to Bcomp’s flax fibre composite technologies. ampliTex™ also opens up the possibility of repair, rather than replace, something of great interest to the HORIZN STUDIOS team. With the circular economy and sustainable products becoming an increasingly important part of consumer purchasing decisions and lifestyle, the use of innovative natural composites is the perfect way to integrate carbon-neutral, sustainable materials. With excellent stiffness, low weight, and the possibility of stunning surface finishes and designs, Bcomp’s technologies offer a sustainable alternative to manufacturing conventional luxury and performance products. Learn More About the HORIZN STUDIOS Circle One Range Check out the Circle One collection from HORIZN STUDIOS Have a question or want to stay in touch? Contact us now

thumbnail

Feb 14, 2023

Sabelt Collaborates With Bcomp For Natural Fibre Seats

The Italian company Sabelt, specialist in lightweight seats for high-performance cars, is developing a seat made 100% from Bcomp's flax fibre solutions. This development is part of their "Carbogreen Project" initiative, which represents Sabelt's environmental mission that is one of its priorities. The initiative aims at developing seating systems for sports cars made of newly designed, renewable and/or low environmental impact materials. Sabelt Is Working On The Development Of Seats Made With Sustainable Alternatives Replacing Non-Renewable Materials. Founded in 1972 by Piero and Giorgio Marsiaj, Sabelt specializes in the development and production of car seats for performance road cars, racing products for motor racing and seatbelts for aerospace. From the world of motorsport, Sabelt has developed a range of premium sports seats for the world's leading car manufacturers and counts Ferrari, McLaren, Alpine, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Maserati and Aston Martin among its partners. In 2019 Sabelt began its commitment to the Carbogreen Project, with the aim of reducing the company’s environmental impact and producing a new line of seats made with more sustainable materials. Three years later, the public call for the Carbogreen Project continues thanks to the financing of Finpiemonte and the support of the European Fund for Regional Development. The whole world of automotive OEMs is taking action to move towards weight reduction, recyclability, sustainability through the use of natural fibres. Sabelt, following this course of action from years, is working to grow in this respect and can now boast of being among the leaders in this commitment. Thanks to the collaboration with Bcomp, Sabelt is currently validating the use of flax fibres to make a seat with natural materials. The use of flax can be considered a new beginning of this project as it means replacing carbon fibre or fiberglass with renewable materials, significantly reducing CO2 emissions, without compromising performance. The Carbogreen Project is an important initiative for Sabelt as a first step, to be followed by the implementation of natural fibre reinforced thermoplastic materials, which are more easily recyclable at the end of the vehicle’s life and helps reduce environmental impact from the seat system production. Moving towards an environmentally sustainable future in the automotive sector must be a global common goal and still many actions need to be implemented. Sabelt is proud to actively commit to this end, also collaborating with companies that constantly work to achieve the same results. The news from Sabelt can be read hereLearn more about SabeltCheck out Sabelt website Have a question or want to stay in touch? Contact us now

thumbnail

Dec 13, 2022

Super Formula and Bcomp announce sustainable fibre composite bodywork for new era

Japan’s premiere single seater race series confirms sustainable fibre composite parts for the SF23 chassis as part of Next 50 plan Super Formula’s Next 50 plan includes new tyre compounds with recycled rubber and natural compounding agents and use of more sustainable materials in the race cars’ construction Innovative approach uses hybrid 70% flax and 30% carbon fibre panels and was nominated as a finalist for 2022 World Motorsport Symposium Green Tech Award Bcomp’s sustainable fibre composites are already extensively proven in motorsports series from F1 to Formula E, Extreme E, DTM and GT4 on Porsche, Mercedes Benz-AMG and BMW M GT cars Past Bcomp projects showed that a total material emission reduction of 90% is possible when compared to equivalent carbon fibre parts while the total cradle-to-gate emissions can be reduced by up to 80% Flax composites also offer safer crash behaviour than traditional carbon fibre and come with a viable end-of-life solution Fribourg, Switzerland. Swiss lightweighting specialists Bcomp and Super Formula have today confirmed their collaboration for the new era of Japan’s premiere single seater race series. Following successful testing of Bcomp’s flax fibre composites throughout the year, Super Formula has confirmed the innovative bodywork parts will appear on the new SF23 chassis. The announcement was made on the 50th anniversary of the championship, as Super Formula looks ahead to its future and is undertaking significant steps to target carbon neutrality. With their Next 50 plan, they have specified measures such as the use of new tyre compounds with recycled rubber and natural compounding agents in addition to the use of more sustainable materials in the race cars’ construction. Carbon fibre bodywork is used extensively throughout the motorsport industry and is responsible for a substantial carbon footprint. Many of the carbon fibre parts used in racing end up in landfill when damaged in a race or no longer needed. Bcomp’s innovative ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ composite technologies are made from flax fibre and offer a promising solution and have already extensively proven their performance across the board in motorsports series from F1 to Formula E, Extreme E, DTM and GT4 on Porsche, Mercedes Benz-AMG and BMW M GT cars. With low density and excellent mechanical properties, flax fibres are a significantly more sustainable option for developing high-performance composites. The unique combination of ampliTex™ flax fabrics with the patented powerRibs™ reinforcement grid allows this natural fibre composite solution to match the low weight and high stiffness of carbon fibre bodywork parts in a drastically more sustainable package. Analysis conducted in past projects showed that Bcomp's high-performance natural fibre composites enable a reduction of 90% in material CO2 emissions when compared to carbon fibre parts as well as an over 80% reduction of CO2 emissions from cradle-to-gate, considering all production steps from raw material to the final part. Introducing ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ flax fibre composites into the SF23 bodywork also introduces safer crash behaviour thanks to the absence of dangerously sharp debris and edges. Additionally, flax fibre-based composites come with a viable end-of-life solution that eliminates the need to landfill damaged or old bodywork. Extensive testing has been conducted in 2022 by Super Formula drivers to evaluate the new engines, fuels, tyres and, of course, the Bcomp bodywork. Sidepods and engine covers, entirely made from ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ performed well in the initial tests but it seemed more appropriate to create hybrid parts for the implementation in the SF23. A construction with about 70% flax and only 30% carbon fibre for local reinforcements proved to be an ideal combination of each material’s benefits while still significantly reducing the carbon footprint. This innovative collaboration has been recognised already across the motorsport community, including most recently being nominated as a finalist for this year’s World Motorsport Symposium Green Tech Award. Johann Wacht, Manager Motorsports and Supercars at Bcomp, said: "Super Formula is considered the second fastest racing series in the world and proves that sustainable technologies are ready to compete at the very highest performance level. The series impressively shows to the industry what is possible, and we are very much looking forward to a great season full of entertainment and sustainable innovations!" The 2023 Super Formula will feature nine races across seven events, with double headers at the season opener at Fuji and the season finale at Suzuka next October. Download the press release About Super Formula SUPER FORMULA Celebrates 50 YEARS Japan’s top formula introduces major sustainability and new action in 2023 the New Carbon-Neutral “SF23” the New Digital Platform “SFgo” Video of the New Machine SF23 Announcement | 2023 SUPER FORMULA PRE. SEASON Have a question or want to stay in touch? Contact us now

thumbnail

Nov 29, 2022

ZAG Skis – Built With ampliTex™ for a Smooth Ride

Winter is just around the corner and soon we’ll be able to enjoy the thrill of sliding down snowy mountainsides again. Nothing really beats the pleasure that we get from skiing through untouched powder and following our friends through the trees. Born and Bred in Chamonix ZAG Skis from the French Alps know a thing or two about skiing and making the perfect tools for the job. Based in Chamonix, they have some of the best testing grounds one could imagine just outside their ZAG Lab. Building prototypes one day, just to go and test them in the most challenging and striking mountain terrain on the next one, allows them to continually optimise the performance of their skis. ZAG is celebrating their 20th anniversary this winter and they are far from slowing down any time soon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4EwhK3h978 The Power of Flax Fibres Ski construction hasn’t seen too many revolutionary changes over the past years but incremental improvements in all areas still mean that the level of performance has never been higher. The trend of lightweight freeride- and so-called freetouring skis has started to reach a level of maturity that put an end to the race for always lighter skis. While the low weight of a carbon fibre reinforced ski with a light wood core is highly appreciated on the way up, it will start to reveal its drawbacks as soon as you take it into some variable and icy conditions. The light and stiff ski struggles to deal with the typical vibrations and passes them onto the skier in a very direct way that is often described as a chattery feeling. ZAG Skis is collaborating with Bcomp and uses our high-performance ampliTex™ flax fibre composite reinforcements across the SLAP collection. ampliTex™ has proven its unique performance and sustainability benefits in applications from McLaren Racing’s F1 seats all the way to satellite panels built together with the European Space Agency. Incorporating Bcomp’s ampliTex™ flax fibres into the SLAP range of skis has allowed ZAG to create a very calm and smooth ski that is still light enough to earn your turns. ampliTex™ harnesses the inherent mechanical properties of flax fibres to provide 250% higher vibration damping than carbon fibres. As the result of countless R&D hours in the ZAG Lab, their engineers have found the perfect recipe with ampliTex™ flax fibre reinforcements to satisfy every type of free rider. Learn More About the ZAG SLAP Range Check out the SLAP collection from ZAG Skis Have a question or want to stay in touch? Contact us now