2021 was a very exciting year for everyone at Bcomp. At the beginning of the year we celebrated our 10th birthday, our team kept on growing, and we opened a new production facility in Fribourg. Furthermore, our sustainable lightweighting solutions are finding their way into new applications; from the automotive sector, to exciting motorsports series and sailing boats. We feel very lucky to work towards a more sustainable future together with our fantastic customers and leading brands, suppliers, organisations and institutes.
Let’s take a look at some of 2021’s highlights:
The Extreme E racing series embraces natural fibre composite bodyworks
The inaugural Extreme E season delivered a great spectacle and very exciting racing. The teams fought for victory in some of the most remote and stunning locations on this planet. Spark Racing Technology provided all teams with their fully electric Odyssey 21 off-road racing SUVs which are striving for the highest performance without sacrificing sustainability. Therefore, they fitted all the cars with a lightweight bodywork made from ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ natural fibre composites.
McLaren Racing takes sustainable materials in F1 to the next level
In 2020 we revealed the development of F1’s first natural fibre seat together with McLaren Racing. In 2021 they have taken it to the next level. Not only has Lando Norris been racing the new seat since the British Grand-Prix, but McLaren has also extended the use of our sustainable lightweighting solutions to other areas of their set-up. Both the engineering islands and timing stands are now built with sustainable composite materials thanks to the ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ natural fibre technologies, significantly reducing weight. We are looking forward to see the next steps in 2022!
Baltic Yacht’s first 68 foot Café Racer launched successfully as Pink Gin Verde
The beautiful day sailer uses natural ampliTex™ composites, making up about 50% of the hull and deck mouldings. Replacing such a large amount of the standard carbon fibres with sustainable flax fibres significantly reduces the CO2 footprint of the boat, while providing technical advantages in the form of vastly improved sound reduction and decreased need for insulation.
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS with a natural fibre composite interior
In addition to the bodywork from ampliTex™ and powerRibs™, Four Motors’ Porsche GT4 race car now also sports a more sustainable interior. Following the tremendous success of the partnership’s sustainable bodywork project, Bcomp and Porsche Motorsport worked to overhaul the GT4’s interior to further cut carbon emissions. Nine parts were reverse engineered by Bcomp, including the air channels, consoles, instrument cluster, glovebox and roof panel.
As part of the project, Bcomp conducted a full sustainability analysis, revealing that the natural fibre solution offers a 94% reduction in material emissions and a 90% reduction in cradle-to-gate emissions compared to the conventional carbon fibre parts.
Green Nacelle with ampliTex™ reinforced natural fibre composite structure in testing
German company GREENBOATS designed and manufactured a full offshore nacelle cover with a natural fibre composite structure. The nacelle is assembled from several ampliTex™ reinforced sandwich panels and uses Sicomin’s bio-based GreenPoxy resin system, resulting in a significant reduction of the CO2 footprint and energy consumption during production compared to a nacelle made with conventional GFRP technology. Importantly, at end of life the panels of the nacelle can easily be reused for new applications or brought to a waste-to-energy plant where it can serve for highly efficient thermal energy recovery, instead of ending up in landfill.
After being selected as a finalist for a JEC Innovation Award 2021, the Green Nacelle has been delivered to the customer DOT (Delft Offshore Turbine) and was installed onshore for first tests before it will eventually be moved to its final location offshore.
Surfing on flax – more sustainable surfboards
We took a closer look at Predn Surf Co. and Ertha Surfboards, two small brands that are trying to lead by example and make the surf industry more sustainable. Both companies focus on using sustainable materials and production processes without sacrificing performance – a perfect match for our ampliTex™ fabrics.
First Swiss hypercar to sport Bcomp’s sustainable lightweighting technologies
Swiss-based Morand Cars announced the development of their first fully electric hypercar that will be accompanied by a hybrid version. Both hypercars will feature our ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ natural fibre composite solutions for their bodywork as well as interiors. We are very excited to be working with the team of leading profiles from the motorsport world and are looking forward to seeing the project advance.
Taking it to the next level with our new production facility in Fribourg
At the beginning of 2021 we opened our new production plant in the city of Fribourg. This state-of-the-art facility allows us to explore novel ways of producing our natural fibre solutions for the global mobility market and to create a scalable production process. Thanks to a high level of automation, the production of our thermoplastic powerRibs™ solution requires relatively few but highly skilled operators. By co-locating the R&D and production teams in Fribourg we’ll be able to produce for customers while constantly optimising the process and the products.
Crowning a successful year with the Trophées PME 2021 award for best SME
As an eventful year came to an end, the whole team at Bcomp got one more reason to celebrate as we were awarded with the Trophées PME 2021 for best small- and medium-sized enterprise in Fribourg.
Christian Fischer, CEO of Bcomp, commented: “I am very happy for our entire team. Bringing back this prize in the category for small and medium-sized enterprises shows how far we have come as a company since our days as a start-up, and is the result of a great team effort over the past years.”
Over the course of 2021 Bcomp’s experts have been interviewed, invited to panel discussions, holding presentations at international conferences, and chatting on podcasts. Here is a small selection from automotive to marine and motorsport: