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Wrapping up 2020

- Looking back on a year that was exceptional in many ways

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Recent News

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Aug 04, 2022

McLaren Racing’s Sustainability Report

McLaren Racing recently released their Sustainability Report for 2021 and Bcomp is very pleased to be mentioned on several occasions throughout the report. Our partnership with McLaren has allowed us to have a positive impact in different areas. Race Logistics The work we did with McLaren Racing on the timing stand and engineers' island helped them to reduce travelling freight weight by 3450 kg. The new timing stand and engineers' island are made in a hybrid flax-carbon construction with Bcomp's ampliTex™ high-performance reinforcements making up the majority share. Replacing the previous carbon fibre components with natural flax fibre composites allowed McLaren Racing to decrease their amount of air freight and reduced their GHG footprint. Circular Design Our natural fibre technologies create high-performance alternatives to plastics and carbon fibre that come with viable end-of-life solutions. This allows McLaren Racing to explore new paths in circular design while they also keep working on alternative end-of-life solutions. A Successful Collaboration "Our partnership with Bcomp has been a game-changer in helping us find new opportunities for incorporating natural fibre composites into our design and engineering," states the McLaren Racing Sustainability Report. Together we have developed Formulas 1's first natural fibre racing seat. Lando Norris' new seat uses an optimised layup of ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ flax fibre solutions to replace the conventional carbon fibre layup. The pioneering natural fibre technologies reduce reliance on carbon fibre and single use plastic and lower the CO2 emissions by 85% compared to the seat's carbon fibre counterpart. We are excited to see what the future holds and how we can further advance sustainable lightweighting solutions from natural fibres in the course of this successful collaboration. The full Sustainability Report from McLaren Racing can be found here: McLaren Racing Sustainability Report 2021 Five key takeaways from the Sustainability Report All images © McLaren Racing Have a question or want to stay in touch? Contact us now

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Aug 02, 2022

World-Class Craftsman Harnesses Natural Fibre Composites

The REI chair is a testament to the incredible build, surface and finish quality that can be achieved by using Bcomp’s ampliTex™ technical fabrics. Learn about how Tras Ltd., a Japanese composite company with a background in motorsport, has made its signature high-end designer chair far more sustainable. A World-Class Composite Craftsman From endurance motorcycle racing to luxury designer furniture, design and manufacturing studio Tras is a Japanese leader in composites. It is the latest organization to fly the flag of the Japanese composites industry – a craft that has been central to the culture for more than a millennium. Specialising in the design and production of carbon composites and other advanced composite materials (ACM), Tras began when its founder, Masanao Nitta, started to design bespoke carbon bodywork for race cars and motorcycles in 1988. In 2002, when established teams hesitated at his offer to provide bodywork, he decided to take action himself and started his own team to design and produce aerodynamic bodywork for the Suzuka 8 Hours, leading to a class victory with a BMW Motorrad in 2006. This eventually led to Tras being a partner for Suzuki’s Moto GP team from 2009, leveraging the deal through branding and exposure and further work within motorsport as Team Partner for the Toyota Motorsport GmbH's VLN bid with the LEXUS IS F CCS-R. Paying Homage to an Ancient Composite Tradition It was 2009 and Masanao Nitta had a strong desire to develop unique furniture that showcased his incredible carbon composite craftsmanship in an interesting way. Project REI was a collaboration between Tras and renowned Japanese designer Keita Shimizu. The team drew from Japan’s rich history of composite work, citing and paying homage to the 1,300-year-old Ashura statue. Made entirely from composites – flax fibres and urushi lacquer (a natural resin) – the statue depicts a god, stands around 1.5 metres tall and is considered to be a national treasure. When Masanao Nitta used carbon fibre composites in the first REI chair design, he went through countless steps of lacquering and surface polishing. Applying this ancient technique to today’s state-of-the-art composite materials, allowed Tras to achieve a unique tint that reflects the deep golden-brown of natural urushi lacquer. With the statue a well-known cultural icon of Japan, the chair paying homage to it quickly garnered attention. It was even exhibited internationally, including in Switzerland during Art Basel at the VOLTA fair. Showcasing Visual Perfection with ampliTex™ Drawing significant international attention to Japan’s rich history of composites and the expert application of carbon composites in furniture design and production, Masanao Nitta learned about the latest sustainable high-performance natural fibre composites. It was not long before he was in discussions with the Bcomp team about using ampliTex™ to produce a new version of the REI chair that closely mirrored the Ashura statue’s original flax fibre and urushi lacquer construction. The new, natural fibre REI highlights the level of quality and craftsmanship that is possible with industry-leading flax fibre composite reinforcements. The unique aesthetic of ampliTex™ was perfectly suited to this high-end design application with the flax weave entirely visible across the ‘bowl’ shaped structure of the chair. With visual perfection and quality paramount to ensuring the chair meets the expectations of discerning customers, ampliTex™ was the ideal choice thanks to its unique high-end appearance. A Perfect Match for Furniture and Luxury Goods With advanced composites becoming an increasingly popular material within high-end furniture design and production, the use of natural fibres that cannot only match the visual quality of carbon but add their very own unique appearance, could be an important step towards decarbonising the industry. To learn more about the use of Bcomp’s ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ technologies in furniture and luxury goods, please get in touch with our design team. If you would like to learn more about Tras and its REI chair, please visit www.tras.co.jp All images © Tras / Koichi OHTANI Have a question or want to stay in touch? Contact us now

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Jul 08, 2022

Bcomp is Official Partner of the Foiling Week SuMoth Challenge 2022

Bcomp is very proud to be official partner of the SuMoth challenge that took place this weekend on beautiful Lake Garda during the Foiling Week. Sunny skies, perfect wind conditions and a great atmosphere made for an amazing event. The SuMoth Challenge The SuMoth challenge invites student teams from all over the world to design, build, and eventually race a sustainable foiling Moth. The teams bring together students from different backgrounds to work on a common goal and gain valuable experience with sustainable technologies driving the future of sustainable boat building. Teams have to go through all the phases from material selection and design process, to engineering, actually building the Moth and finally getting it on the water. Time and budget constraints add to the complexity of this endeavour. Such a project can only be tackled with the right support and the teams can count on the partners of the SuMoth challenge. Sharing Knowledge Bcomp has a long tradition of passing on its knowledge and expertise in natural fibre composite solutions to students who will shape the future of many an industry. Needless to say, we were more than happy to support teams during the challenge. Paolo Dassi, Bcomp’s Marine and Industry Manager, held a masterclass on biobased composites for the participating teams. These masterclasses allow the students to benefit from the concentrated knowledge of the SuMoth partners and to gain valuable insights. Talking to the teams on location and hearing first-hand how the masterclass has helped them and given them inspiration for new ideas, was simply great. Many of the teams on site mentioned that they are actively exploring the use of natural fibres for anything from updated and improved components to entire new hulls for next year’s event. Finally Taking Flight We saw incredible commitment and effort from all the teams over the course of the Foiling Week. They all had their own setbacks and victories, working tirelessly to get their innovative and sustainable Moth to take off, and to make a point for their design and material choices. Especially standing out, were moments such as the Moth from Canadian team Rafale ETS taking flight for the first time ever, or the entire PoliMi Sailing Team working tirelessly late into the evenings to finally take home a shared first place in the design stage and 2nd place in stage 2, just to name a few. We congratulate all the teams on their great boat designs and are already looking forward to seeing more teams and boats with natural fibre components by next year. Foiling Week The Foiling Week was a great success with a lot of interesting racing action, many initiatives to help people achieve their first foiling experience and cool side events such as the Foiling Film Festival. There was also a row of panel discussions on all the topics around foiling spread out over the long weekend. Bcomp was represented by Paolo Dassi, its Marine and Industry Manager, who could contribute his expertise during the discussion about Building Sustainability into Foiling. The entire forum sessions were streamed live and are now available on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ-F_iSrens Learn more: SuMoth Challenge The Foiling Week All images © Bcomp / Flurin Efinger Have a question or want to stay in touch? Contact us now