Near Ritsumasyl in the Friesland province of the Netherlands, a record-breaking bio-composite bridge has been inaugurated early 2020. It is the first of its kind, part of the public road network and 66 metres long, 4 metres wide, and created to carry primarily cyclists but also the occasional car safely across the Van Harinxma channel. The channel is important for commercial shipping and the bridge therefore created as a swing bridge to let ships with up to 17m width pass.
The Ritsumasyl bridge consists of 80% biobased materials, using Bcomp’s ampliTex™ technical flax fabrics for reinforcement together with balsa wood. It is built with two 22m wide spans and composite decks. The intended usage time is 50 years, although tests have shown that the materials can be used for more than 100 years. Compared to the old concrete bridge of 400 tonnes, the bio-composite bridge is a real lightweight at only 30 tonnes.
The ampliTex™ flax reinforcements are lightweight and stiff fibres with excellent vibration damping properties, and CO2 neutral over their lifecycle.
Friesland supports the Netherlands’ government’s ambition to be fully “circular” by 2050 and to be among the top three most development-friendly regions in Europe. Circular economy is at the heart of this innovative bridge by using sustainable materials and by using materials over as long a period as possible, thus reducing the eco footprint. The plan is to use the bridge as fertilizer in 100 years.
This project also reflects Bcomp’s values of transparent with various stakeholders, where innovation and knowledge development come together. The project is called DRIVE and a collaboration of different actors including the Friesland province and INFRA Composites, among others.
More info: www.drive.frl
Jan 26, 2021Wrapping up 2020
Not quite the year we had expected, but still one of the most exciting years for sustainable lightweighting and for Bcomp. We have had the great pleasure to work with fantastic brands, from the sports- and motorsports sectors to automotive and marine – and a few others as well. With this, a big thanks to everyone we collaborate with: customers and suppliers, organisations and institutes, interns, employees and other stakeholders. This journey is one of collaboration. Here are a few highlights of 2020: First natural fibre F1 seat with McLaren Racing McLaren Racing announced the collaboration with Bcomp to develop F1's first natural fibre composite racing seat. “The original carbon fibre seat design was reverse-engineered by Bcomp, and then we optimised and manufactured the new design. The seat was run in pre-season testing without any problems and we hope to be racing with Bcomp flax seats in the near future,” explains McLaren F1 Principal Composites Engineer Steve Foster. Previous Next Read more... Polestar Precept – sustainability, performance and luxury Polestar launched the Precept, built using innovative and sustainable materials including our ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ to cut weight and reduce the amount of plastic in interior panels. This combination of performance, sustainability and design is a key moment in the future of mobility. Later in 2020, Polestar announced that Precept will be a production model. More info: Polestar takes sustainability seriously Polestar and Bcomp Kindred spirits: Bcomp https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-0NhW_JIdk&list=PLKtExnP2_3W50DqAvM3l5V4LN8ZKXfcV_ Full natural fibre body kit for the Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 CS MR Porsche Motorsports teamed up with Bcomp, Manthey Racing and the Four Motors racing team to produce a full natural fibre body kit for the Cayman 718 GT4 CS MR. The body kit reduces the CO2 footprint and the risk for sharp shattering while providing viable end of life options and high cost efficiency. Four Motors will continue to race the kit in 2021, following the successful debut at the 24h Nürburgring race. Previous Next Read more... Baltic 68 Café Racer - sustainable luxury day sailer Baltic Yachts, one of the leading makers of luxury yachts and at the forefront of sustainable innovation in the marine sector, has developed a new yacht, the Baltic 68 Café Racer. Built with sustainability in mind, not only is most of its hull made of natural flax fibre ampliTex™, but also parts the interior where flax is accompanied by other materials such as textile, wicker or paper cord for a simple design with attitude. Previous Next Read more... First natural fibre satellite panel with the European Space Agency (ESA) The first natural fibre reinforced satellite panel, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) together with RUAG Space, IRS Stuttgart and Bcomp. Part of the ESA’s Clean Space initiative, this project demonstrates the exceptional versatility of Bcomp’s proprietary powerRibs™ and ampliTex™ natural fibre technologies, even in the most extreme conditions and environment. Previous Next Read more... First natural fibre crash box with YCOM Successful first crash test of a natural fibre Front Impact Absorbing Structure (FIAS) built in ampliTex™ by advanced technology expert YCOM. With a reduced CO2 footprint, viable end of life options, and the absence of sharp debris in a crash scenario, this opens new areas of use, not only for bodywork but also for structural parts. Previous Next Read more... CAPiTA snowboards using fusion tape - the best of two worlds CAPiTA has been handcrafting high performance snowboards for 20 years. Driven by innovation and performance they selected ampliTex™ fusion tape for the top models of their new 20/21 range - a hybrid weave of flax and carbon fibres, giving the rider the “pop” of carbon fibres and the outstanding damping properties of flax fibres. Previous Next Read more... ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ in body panels of the Volta Zero from Volta Trucks The world's first 16-tonne all-electric vehicle designed for freight deliveries in urban centres, was built by Volta Trucks using ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ body panels to reduce weight sustainably. With a holistic approach to the development of this Volta Zero, “Volta Trucks wants to spearhead the rapid change in large commercial vehicles, from outdated diesel to clean and safe technological solutions” says Carl-Magnus Norden, Founder of Volta Trucks. Previous Next Read more... The DTM announces Bcomp as technical partner for sustainable lightweighting The DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) has opened its technical regulations to include natural fibres for mandatory parts, thus reducing environmental impact and improving safety aspects vs. carbon fibres. The DTM shoebox is made using ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ for a lightweight, high performance sustainable part. Previous Next Read more... Melker of Sweden uses ampliTex™ for kayaks and paddles Melker of Sweden has the goal of creating innovative outdoor products with a low environmental impact, without sacrificing performance and design. Today they use Bcomp's ampliTex™ range to create beautiful kayaks and paddles that are light, durable, and stiff with high damping properties. More info: Melker of Sweden kayaks Presenting the Melker Arkö Previous Next
Jan 19, 2021A Swiss Hypercar mixing stunning performance and sustainable technology
Switzerland is well known for craftsmanship, precision engineering and technological innovation. It is also home to the Geneva Motor Show, one of the world’s most prestigious events on the automotive calendar. Despite this we have yet to see a thoroughbred, Swiss-made Hypercar. As a proud Swiss company ourselves we are delighted to be working with Benoit Morand, Eric Boullier, and the team at Morand Cars. The Swiss-based manufacturer is developing a fully electric Hypercar and also a hybrid version, due for production in 2023. With Eric and Benoit’s background, combined with the support of a core team of leading Swiss innovators, designers and high-tech manufacturers including SECH, EPFL, Ateliers Clément SA and Starrag, Morand clearly has the experience, drive and resource to pull off this exciting project. Bcomp’s natural fibre technology is an ideal solution for this track-focused hypercar, with its emphasis on performance, luxury and sustainability. Natural fibre composites will be used for the external bodywork of the Morand Hypercar as well as throughout the interior. Rendering of the Morand Hypercar - ©Morand Cars “We are excited to be part of the first Swiss hypercar and to work with such leading profiles from the motorsport world” says Per Mårtensson, Bcomp CSO. He continues “The Morand vision to create a sustainable, Swiss hypercar using the latest technologies is very much aligned with both macro trends and our beliefs at Bcomp – that sustainability is an integral part of performance.” “As we develop the Morand Hypercar we are enjoying the opportunity to work with Swiss companies at the top of their field. Bcomp is a true leader not just in their field but as a trailblazer bringing sustainable solutions to high-performance applications,” says Eric Boullier, co-founder Morand Cars. “We have a shared outlook and goal, to lead the way in sustainable performance.” As government’s around the world push to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, we are all now witnessing the most significant shift in technology in the history of the automotive industry. The powertrain however is only one piece of the puzzle. While the appetite for high performance vehicles has not reduced, we are seeing sustainability becoming an increasingly important aspect for customers. Discerning customers are now looking to see how brands are building sustainability into the entire vehicle ecosystem including materials used in the car. Bcomp natural fibre composites can match the performance of traditional carbon fibre while offering a 75% reduction in CO2 footprint and won’t end up in landfills as carbon fibre composites often do. Our recent project with YCOM to manufacture and test a motorsport crash-box structure using natural fibre composites has shown that safety is not compromised by the adoption of this more sustainable alternative. This is true even for structural applications, offering interesting possibilities for the future. Our recent collaboration with a Formula One team to develop the sport’s first natural fibre composite racing seat has shown that even in the most competitive environments, sustainability and enlightened thinking has a place - an ethos that is at the heart of Morand’s Hypercar programme. With more than 2000 bhp and a top speed of over 400 km/h the Morand Hypercar will offer stunning performance alongside its sustainable credentials. Hypercars have long been the embodiment of extreme engineering, ruthlessly pursuing performance in search of ultimate lap times, power output and acceleration figures. What we are seeing now is a shift to bring the Hypercar into the 21st Century, delivering all of the performance, passion and driver engagement while embracing cutting-edge technology for customers who understand our vital role as stewards of the planet. We are delighted to be working with Morand on this exciting project. Learn more: www.morand-cars.com
Dec 03, 2020Floating on Flax – CAPiTA Snowboards with ampliTex™ Fusion Tape
CAPiTA’s hand-crafted high-performance snowboards make use of the unique advantages that Bcomp’s ampliTex™ fusion tape has to offer. MARS1 - The Mothership Advanced Research Station 1 The progressive snowboard brand is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and keeps on innovating and putting an emphasis on sustainability in high-performance snowboards. Their 20/21 lineup contains four models that implement ampliTex™ fusion tape – a hybrid weave of flax and carbon fibres. The top-of-the-line snowboards all make use of the ampliTex™ V-Tech Amplifier technology, where strips of the flax carbon hybrid tape are placed in a v-shape in the nose and tail of the snowboards. The fusion tape brings the best of two worlds: the reactive energy of carbon fibres and the lightweight and outstanding damping aspects of flax fibres. The inclusion of ampliTex™ in snowboards allows them to achieve a set of very special traits. The Fusion tape unites flax and carbon fibres in a special weave, adding the reactiveness and pop of carbon fibres to the board without making it nervous, thanks to the outstanding damping properties of the flax fibres. The benefits of ampliTex™ can be discovered within four different models of CAPiTA’s 20/21 range: The infamous Black Snowboard of Death, Kazuhiro Kokubo’s signature model the Kazu Kokubo Pro, the Mercury, and the new Neo Slasher. Production in the MOTHERSHIP Production in the MOTHERSHIP Production in the MOTHERSHIP Production in the MOTHERSHIP Production in the MOTHERSHIP Produced Responsibly Since 2013 CAPiTA is running its own production facility in the heart of Austria. By 2016 they completed the new Mothership – their highly advanced research and production facility where all CAPiTA snowboards are hand-built by a skilled workforce. “MARS1: Mothership Advanced Research Station 1 is the newest, most technologically advanced and ecologically responsible manufacturing facility in the snowboard industry,” says CAPiTA about their new production facility. They are going the extra mile to ensure that their snowboards are manufactured with 100% clean energy and locally sourced materials wherever possible: 98% of the materials in their boards are sourced locally from Austria and its neighbouring countries, keeping transport distances as short as possible. “Our dedication to building the world’s best snowboards, with the most efficient and sustainable processes, is galvanized by the company mantra – everything is possible.” CAPiTA Snowboards Bcomp is happy to count CAPiTA among its great customers in the field of snowsports, making sure that we can all get out there, have fun and play naturally smart on equipment that has been crafted sustainably. After all, nothing surpasses the feeling of gliding on snow! Previous Next Learn more: www.capitasnowboarding.com