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Surfing on Flax – Sustainable Surfboards with ampliTex™

Ertha and Predn Surfboards – Dedicated to Sustainable Surf

Small surf brands are leading the way towards more sustainable surfboard constructions and raising awareness among surfers. We take a look at two independent brands and how they are following their individual vision of sustainable surfboards made with our technical ampliTex™ flax fabrics.

Surfers are usually very close to the ocean and environment. Being out there, discovering new breaks, waiting for the swell, sitting on your board in the lineup next to your friends while the sun is setting. All these things create a unique connection with the oceans and our environment. Yet your average surfboard is not necessarily manufactured with sustainability in mind and traditional surfboard production actually contributes to the destruction of exactly the ecosystem that we all love so much.

Leaders of Change

The surf industry as a whole seems to have realized these issues but is rather slow at making changes towards more sustainability. It’s small companies that are quick to react, make significant changes to the ways they conduct their business and lead the way with a good example.

 

Predn and Ertha Surfboards are two surfboard companies from very different parts of Europe that have both fully committed to their visions of creating sustainable surfboards. And we are more than thrilled that they have both chosen to do so by using our ampliTex™ range of highly advanced technical flax fabrics.

Surfboards from North Cornwall

Predn Surf Co. has its origins in 2017 when Pete, the founder, started to build his first wooden surfboards. As a passionate surfer Pete realised that the surf industry is not really an eco-friendly one, a real shame since it actually brings people closer to nature. With Predn he is now realising his own vision and leading change in the surf industry.

 

The beautiful “surfbordhs” from North Cornwall are all handmade in a small workshop that is 100% powered by renewable energy from the onsite wind turbine. Real sustainability has many facets one of them being high quality and durability. Combining the best materials like beautiful structural wood veneers, our natural ampliTex™ flax reinforcements and biobased epoxy resins with pure craftsmanship results in surfboards of the highest quality that will last for a long time, are easy to repair and can be handed down through generations.

“We believe that it is all of our responsibilities to look after this gift of a planet we live on and support each other in doing so.”, says Pete Clemo, founder of Predn, underlining his commitment to a more sustainable future.

Produced Surfstainably in Galicia

Galicia on the north-western tip of the Iberian Peninsula is the home of Ertha Surfboards. Amidst the many bays and coves of this wild coastline, some of the finest and most sustainable surfboards are built. Ettore Burdese is a passionate surfer that could no longer ignore how surfers unwillingly contribute to the plastic pollution of our oceans. Seeing more and more eco-friendly alternatives like wax, resins and fibres appear, Ettore founded Ertha with the idea of bringing these single products together to create a highly eco-friendly, sustainable alternative to conventional boards that will deliver highest performance levels.

 

Ertha’s surfboards are crafted exclusively from the finest renewable or recycled raw materials. Certified woods are combined with 100% recycled EPS cores from local production, biobased resins, and the finest natural fibre reinforcements in the form of Bcomp’s ampliTex™ flax fabrics while traditional craftsmanship meets state-of-the-art CNC machines and parametric design to create unique pieces of sustainable surf art. But real sustainability isn’t worth much if it compromises performance and Ettore mentions: “It took us years of research to find a way to make sustainable surfboards that are light, flexible, durable and deliver the same performance as the very best conventional boards on the market.”

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Jul 29, 2021

McLaren Goes Racing With Bcomp

The first natural fibre composite F1 seat made with Bcomp's ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ technologies was raced for the very first time at the 2021 British Grand-Prix, when McLaren Racing's Lando Norris piloted the seat to an amazing 4th place. Since we first revealed in 2020 how McLaren Racing collaborated with us to develop F1's first natural fibre seat, an eventful year has passed. The use of our sustainable lightweighting solutions has been extended off the race cars and a thorough sustainability analysis has showed how natural fibre composites allow the team to save up to 85% of CO2 emissions on Lando's seat. In addition to the seats, McLaren Racing has also found uses for ampliTex™ in its timing stands and engineering islands. The move to ampliTex™ natural fibre composites on the new timing stand and engineers' island has not only a positive impact on the CO2 footprint of these structures but also lead to a significant reduction of 3,450 kg in travelling freight. The impact of these weight savings really comes into effect considering that the team's equipment moves around the globe between Grand Prix locations. Previous Next Want to hear all the details about how McLaren Racing is now using natural fibre composites off the car as well as on it and what they have learnt about these sustainable lightweighting technologies? Then make sure to read the full article on McLaren Racing's page!

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Jul 20, 2021

Composites Evolution launches new Evopreg ampliTex™ range

Composites Evolution Ltd has teamed up with leading natural fibre reinforcement specialists Bcomp to launch a new range of flax-epoxy prepreg materials, designed to offer enhanced sustainability without compromising on performance. Evopreg ampliTex™ prepregs combine Composites Evolution’s high-performance Evopreg epoxy resin systems with Bcomp’s award-winning ampliTex™ flax reinforcements, to deliver a family of materials which offer outstanding performance for component applications. To reach the full performance of natural fibres, Evopreg ampliTex™ prepregs have been tailored to be compatible with Bcomp’s powerRibs™ reinforcement grid, enabling the same stiffness and weight as thin-walled monolithic carbon fibre parts while decreasing the CO2 footprint by 85% and improving safety thanks to a blunt breaking behaviour without dangerous debris or sharp edges. Composites Evolution’s Sales & Marketing Director, Ben Hargreaves, explains further: “Sustainability is an increasingly important factor for many of our customers - particularly those involved in motorsports and high-performance automotive applications. As you’d expect in these sectors though, sustainability can’t come at the expense of performance - the two must go hand-in-hand. This is something that other prepreggers can struggle with, as natural fibres behave very differently to carbon or glass, for example.” “At Composites Evolution, we have over ten years experience in the development and production of natural fibre prepregs, and that shows in the quality of our materials.” “Working together with Bcomp, we can offer an unrivalled package of technical expertise and application know-how. We draw upon this to help customers understand the strengths and weaknesses of natural fibre composites, and to show where and how they can be adopted without the need for significant changes to existing composite component production processes.” One such customer is Retrac Group, whose composites division is one of the UK’s most experienced composites engineering companies across motorsports, automotive and aerospace. It recently used Evopreg ampliTex™ + powerRibs™ to produce a demonstrator bonnet panel for a race-bred supercar. Project Manager Alan Purves explains: “We’re seeing a growing interest in flax fibre composites, particularly in the motorsports and niche vehicle sectors. It is therefore essential that we have developed an in-depth understanding of the processing requirements and performance capabilities of these materials, and are ready to respond to our customers' requirements. Being able to tap into the combined expertise and experience of both Composites Evolution and Bcomp is proving invaluable.” “Our laminators found the Evopreg ampliTex™ materials very easy to use, with good drape and tack to the moulds” continues Alan. “The finished part looks great, and we shall showcase it later in the year.” The bonnet demonstrator is a two-part moulding, with both inner and outer produced using Evopreg ampliTex™ EPC300-F300T 2x2 twill prepreg, backed with powerRibs™. The air duct components were 3D-printed at Retrac, using their Stratasys Fortus 450MC machine. Bonded using polyurethane adhesive to minimise A-surface witnessing, the whole assembly weighs just 4 kg. Johann Wacht, Motorsports Manager at Bcomp Ltd concludes: “We absolutely share the view that sustainability and performance need to go hand in hand and are very proud that already during the development phase of Evopreg ampliTex™ several OEMs and parts manufacturers have fully validated the prepregs. The UK market is close to our values due to its drive for high-performance and innovation, closely linked to the heritage of motorsports and supercars. It is great to see multiple projects going live in parallel to the official launch, highlighting the huge sustainable lightweighting potential of the proven Evopreg ampliTex™ + powerRibs™ package for all areas of future mobility.” To find out more: www.compositesevolution.com/products/natural-fibre-prepregs/

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Jul 14, 2021

Job Opening – Quality Specialist and New Internships

To strengthen our quality and operations teams we are looking for a French speaking Quality Specialist and offering new internships as Quality Engineer as well as in SAP B1 & data management. Bcomp Ltd. is a young and dynamic Swiss company specialized in the development, marketing and sales of natural fibre composite solutions for high performance applications. To support the company’s current hyper-growth phase, Bcomp is looking to fill three new positions to support our quality and operations teams: Full time position - Spécialiste de Qualité Internship - Quality Engineer Internship - SAP B1 & Data Management As our new Quality Specialist you will work closely with our operations team as well as internal and external production teams to assure our quality standards are met at all times. During an internship as Quality Engineer, you will be working alongside our Quality Manager to support the implementation of new ISO 14001 and IATF 16949 certifications for our headquarters, production area and our outsourced manufacturing. You will be training and coaching on new methodologies, implementing new tools and supporting mindset changes. In the role of SAP B1 & data management intern, you will manage and enhance the company master data and closely work with the operations team to support the implementation of our future ERP needs. For detailed information on each position as well as our corresponding requirements check out the full job descriptions by clicking on one of the links below. Come and work with us Our team is small, dynamic, international and works in a fast-paced, equal, and entrepreneurial environment. Each person takes responsibility for their work and contributes to a friendly work atmosphere with many laughs. Do you want to take part in the adventure of a young, fast moving company, which is in full development in the automotive sector? Come on board and contribute to the development of our processes and products with your technical and practical knowledge and take part in the amazing working atmosphere of our company.We happily invite you to send us your full application through: workwithus@bcomp.ch Full job descriptions: Offre d'Emploi - Spécialiste Qualité Internship - Quality Engineer Internship - SAP B1 & Data Management