Home / News / powerRibs™ helps Volvo Cars use ocean plastic in automotive interior parts
As Volvo Cars release the recycled plastics demonstrator XC60 vehicle, Bcomp’s natural fibre reinforcement technology powerRibs™ is combined with ocean plastic to form a novel composite material. This enables the use of ocean plastic in semi-structural automotive interior parts, and simultaneously cuts up to 50% weight compared to standard parts.
Ocean plastic, i.e. plastic waste in oceans e.g. plastic bags, fishing nets, is a major environmental hazard. However, the degraded properties of recycled ocean plastic only allow for very limited applications within the automotive industry, where it can be used to decrease the amount of primary plastics. Thanks to Bcomp’s powerRibs™ reinforcement technology, ocean plastic properties can be boosted using natural fibres not only to be used in a wide range of semi-structural interior parts, but simultaneously cutting up to 50% weight when compared to current standard engineering plastics.
A Volvo Cars spokesperson: “We’re very grateful for the support of Bcomp in the production of our recycled plastics demonstrator XC60 vehicle. As we start to deliver on our 2025 vision, sustainable material and technology like powerRibs™, will be essential in both replacing primary plastics and reducing weight at the same time.”
Dr Per Mårtensson, CSO Bcomp: “We are excited to collaborate with Volvo Cars to enable the upcycling of ocean plastic through the use of high tech, renewable powerRibs™. The project is closely aligned with our vision to provide high performance, sustainable solutions for lightweighting.”
Volvo Cars’ press release & images can be found here.
May 25, 2023McLaren Racing’s Circular F1 Car Project
McLaren Racing just published their newest Sustainability Report for 2022 that goes into detail on all their efforts to become more sustainable on all levels while still pursuing the highest level of performance. Since 2020, Bcomp has been collaborating with McLaren Racing and we are incredibly proud to be developing our natural fibre composite technologies for more circular bodywork with one of the most successful teams in motorsport history. “Now is the time to level the playing field so teams no longer have to choose between investing in car performance and investing in sustainability. It’s an impossible choice.” - Zak Brown, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Racing A significant part of McLaren Racing's sustainability effort is centered around the circular F1 car project. In 2022 they started a project to assess the sustainability impacts of their F1 constructor activities. Considering that the materials and processes they use to construct their cars make up 36% of their GHG footprint, makes this project an essential lever in reaching McLaren Racing's net zero target. In 2022, McLaren Racing also continued to work with Bcomp to design more circular bodywork. A keel panel, constructed from flax, was run in Friday testing on the McLaren car at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The successful test demonstrated that the panel could be used on the car in future races. The successful collaboration between Bcomp and McLaren Racing continues to open up new possibilities for our ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ natural fibre solutions to make the highest-performing F1 cars more sustainable without sacrificing performance. In the past, our bio-based alternatives to carbon fibre have already been successfully trialled and raced in Lando's seat, bodywork and pit-stop equipment. We are excited to continue looking for more opportunities to use our bio-based natural fibre composite technologies at the highest level of motorsports together with McLaren Racing. “Our mission to ‘set the standard for high performance in sport’ applies to sustainability as much as it applies to our on-track performance.” - Kim Wilson, Director of Sustainability, McLaren Racing More about McLaren Racing's use of natural fibre composites for a circular F1 car: McLaren Racing's full Sustainability Report 2022 McLaren Goes Racing With Bcomp All images © McLaren Racing Have a question or want to stay in touch? Contact us now
May 23, 2023Four Motors – 20 Years of Sustainable Rebellion
Combining Performance and Sustainable Technologies for a Cleaner Future Four Motors, the pioneering German motorsport team, is celebrating 20 years of pushing the boundaries of sustainability and innovation in GT racing. Since its founding in 2003, Four Motors has remained at the forefront of eco-friendly advancements, championing the use of renewable and recycled resources in motorsports. Driven by a passion for both motorsports and the environment, Four Motors has consistently sought to inspire positive change, both on and off the track. By working closely with leading partners, the team has made significant strides in advancing sustainable mobility, setting itself apart from other teams in the motorsport industry. With its specially configured ‘Bioconcept-Cars, Four Motors has competed in endurance races around the world, demonstrating efficient and effective use of state-of-the-art renewable technologies and advanced recycling processes. Four Motors’s 20th anniversary coincides with its 21st participation in the prestigious and legendary Nürburgring 24 Hours. Known as the ‘Green Hell’, this gruelling racetrack has consistently provided the perfect testing ground for the team's innovative and sustainable technologies, playing an important role in Four Motors solidifying its reputation as an international sustainable motorsport leader. Sustainability in Motorsports In the ongoing global efforts to combat climate change, motorsport has emerged as a crucial platform for the development and testing of sustainable technologies. As a high-performance environment, it provides an unparalleled opportunity to experiment with innovative solutions that can be swiftly brought to market. This unique advantage enables motorsport – and motorsport companies – to significantly impact industries with longer development cycles, like the automotive, aerospace, and marine sectors. Thomas von Löwis of Menar, CEO of Four Motors, said: “In showcasing the latest advancements in sustainable technologies through racing, we are not only inspiring change within motorsport but also facilitating progress in other vital mobility sectors, further demonstrating our commitment to – and ambition for – a greener future.” Four Motors Project Four Motors is dedicated to working closely with its partners in the pursuit of developing and testing innovative technologies to enable and realise more sustainable mobility. To ensure optimal performance, the team has integrated state-of-the-art technologies into its race cars; combining high performance with environmental responsibility. The Four Motors project includes testing and implementing ground-breaking technologies such as re-refined engine oil, E20 Plus fuel, lightweight natural fibre bodywork, CO2-reduced motorsport wheels and other advanced materials. By incorporating these sustainable technologies into its Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (#320) – driven by none less than Smudo, frontman of the “Die Fantastischen Vier” – as well as its Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport (#420) and Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport 981 (#633) race cars, the team has been able to compete at the highest level while minimising its environmental impact. “Tested in the unforgiving and severe conditions of endurance racing, the Four Motors project has proved to be a resounding success,” continued Thomas von Löwis. “Our participation in the highly demanding Nürburgring 24 Hours has garnered international attention and demonstrated our commitment to promoting sustainable technologies and mobility at a global scale.” Sustainable Solutions and Technologies FUEL CropEnergies AG – innovative E20 fuel with a total of 60% renewable content from waste and residues, approx. 40 % CO2 savings and over 100 octane. The special racing fuel was developed in cooperation between CropEnergies and Shell. EXTERIOR BODYWORK and INTERIOR Bcomp – Four Motors works with Swiss lightweighting specialist Bcomp to integrate innovative natural fibre technologies, ampliTex™ and powerRibs™, into its racecars' bodywork. Bcomp's high-performance composites rival traditional carbon fibre while reducing CO2 emissions by up to 85% and offering 250% better vibration damping and improved crash behaviour for enhanced safety in motorsport applications. LUBRICANTS Wolf Oil and Tecoil – the Four Motors bio-trio is driving with re-refined engine and gearbox oil from sponsor duo Wolf Oil Corporation and Tecoil. Using patented high-tech processes, the Finnish refinery Tecoil processes used oils up to a high-quality, which are even purer than freshly produced base oils originating from crude oil. The Belgian lubricants company Wolf Oil Corporation formulates the base oils into high performance oils so that they can be used in the engine and transmission sector. The use of these sustainable oils significantly reduces the CO2 footprint and thus helps to slow down climate change. WHEELS RONAL GROUP – equips Four Motors with its first CO2-reduced RONAL motorsport wheel which consists of 70% secondary aluminium and only 30% primary aluminium – this means that around 50% CO2 can be saved compared to an average European wheel. The wheel is particularly light: With the RONAL Motorsport RM1, the RONAL GROUP can offer a saving of over 6 kg on the vehicle, which means less abrasion on the tires and lower fuel consumption. MECHANIC BREAK PADS PAGID Racing – brakes pads are used in Four Motors race cars and offer a competitive advantage thanks to their optimal balance between braking performance and wear. They are made from environmentally friendly materials with fewer harmful substances, while meeting performance and safety standards. ELECTRIC DRIVE SYSTEM MAHLE - collaborates with independent team Four Motors to set new benchmarks in motorsports and the independent workshop business, aiming for a technological partnership through initiatives such as testing 3D-printed parts in Four Motors Porsche vehicles and providing support with MAHLE service devices. Conclusion Four Motors' 20-year journey has been marked by a relentless pursuit of innovation and sustainability in motorsports, setting a benchmark for the industry. The team's success in integrating cutting-edge technologies into its race cars is a testament to the power of collaboration and a shared vision. As Four Motors continues to forge strong partnerships with leading technology providers, its unwavering commitment to sustainable motorsport will undoubtedly enable further advancements. The team's pioneering spirit and dedication continue to serve as an inspiration to all who believe in a sustainable future for the racing industry and beyond. www.fourmotors.com
May 12, 2023Melker of Sweden Kayaks With ampliTex™ Launching in North America
Following intense networking in the USA, the Swedish kayak producer is now ready take on the North American market. “We felt incredibly welcome, and several important pieces have now fallen into place. The timing is perfect for us”, says Pelle Stafshede CEO & Creative Director, Melker of Sweden. After a successful two-week trip to the USA, the team of Melker of Sweden can announce their first US flagship store and several key reseller partnerships. It marks the starting point for a large-scale launch in North America, initially focusing on the area around the Great Lakes. Melker of Sweden has already set up a hub in Chicago that will enable larger shipments from Sweden. “It will allow us to work closer with our retailers and offer the possibility to restock during the season”, says Pelle Stafshede. One of the new resellers, Earth’s Edge, is excited for the upcoming partnership. “Our customers trust us to carry the best brands in outdoor, so we’re very excited to partner with Melker of Sweden to carry their beautiful line of kayaks! We believe that their beautiful design, their unique approach to sustainable materials, and their incredible technical details will make them a hit with our customers. We appreciate all of the time and effort Pelle has put into building this partnership and we look forward to working together”, says Karl Tucker, Founder & CEO, Earth’s Edge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QABnk6qz1hM&t=39s During the time in the USA the Melker team also showcased their products during Canoecopia – the world’s largest paddle expo. “We got an incredible warm welcome, and a lot of visitors were fascinated with our kayak’s unique design, how we work with sustainability, and continuing efforts to innovate and break conventions. We’re extremely happy, and it gives us a lot of energy for our launch.” Another energy boost came from one of the most influential people in all of paddle sport – Darren Bush from Rutabaga Paddelsports. "I met Melker of Sweden at a trade fair in Germany a few years ago. Having been in the paddle sports industry for over 30 years it’s not often that a product really catches my attention. Melkers beautiful sea kayaks definitely caught my attention. Now we got to meet them again and the kayaks were just as pretty, and they had improved their tech significantly. We pulled the trigger! It feels great to have Melker kayaks in our stores”, says Darren Bush. The launch in North America also comes with significant marketing investments and Melker of Sweden has been fortunate to create partnerships with important ambassadors that will help get the message out. “It’s a mix of individuals with strong national and local presence, authentic influencers on the water that you can’t miss. We are also fortunate to have reached a point where people get in touch with us and want to discuss collaborations, people that see paddling as a lifestyle”, says Pelle Stafshede. The first step of the North America launch is focused on the area around the Great Lakes but plans to replicate it in Canada and on the west and east coast of the USA are already in place. The Melker team will return to North America in June this year to focus on Canada. Bcomp is very excited for Melker of Sweden to take this next big step and we can't wait to see customers in North America get a hold of these beautiful kayaks that are made with our sustainable ampliTex™ natural fibre reinforcements. About Melker of Sweden Melker of Sweden offers sustainable, high-performance, sleek & stylish kayaks for an active and conscious lifestyle. An interplay between the environment, ethics and economy is strategically important to them – making it possible to make a difference for real. Their core values also include having a great time - making sure that they always do what they love together with friends, family and partners sharing their philosophy. Staying true to their philosophy makes it possible for them to create a successful business they are proud to run and work for. We are in business to make a difference - having a great time doing it! www.melkerofsweden.com
Apr 20, 2023Sabelt – Driving Sustainability in Car Seats
More sustainable car seats without compromising performance? The solution might come from the blooming flax fields of Belgium and France. “To be in the driving seat” is an idiom well suited to describe Sabelt, Italian maker of performance car seats used by some of the most well-known car brands in the world. The company has recently announced its ongoing work in collaboration with Bcomp, specialist in sustainable lightweighting solutions. The developments are taking place within the “Carbogreen Project”, which is part of the company's environmental mission and is aimed at developing seating systems for sports cars made of renewable, and/or low environmental impact materials. The use of natural fibres like flax in the automotive industry is not a new concept, but the trend has been growing in recent years due to the need for reducing carbon emissions and finding more sustainable alternatives to non-renewable materials. The Carbogreen Project is an important initiative for Sabelt, aiming to reduce the company's environmental impact by introducing more sustainable materials in its seats. In collaboration with Bcomp, Sabelt is currently validating the use of flax fibres to make a seat with natural materials. Flax fibre can replace carbon fibre or fibreglass with renewable materials and significantly reduce CO2 emissions without compromising performance. Exploring the potential of Bcomp’s ampliTex™ technical natural fibre fabrics, Sabelt has created a prototype performance car seat using RTM processes. The prototype seat will be exhibited at Bcomp’s booth 5A45 during JEC World 2023 in Paris, one of the world’s largest composite trade shows. Sabelt's commitment to sustainability doesn't stop there. The company is also exploring the implementation of powerRibs™ reinforcement grid and thermoplastic ampliTex™ which are more easily recyclable at the end of the vehicle's life and help 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 Sabelt is proud to not only actively commit to this end, but also take the lead and collaborate with companies sharing that vision. Learn More About Sabelt www.sabelt.com Have a question or want to stay in touch? Contact us now