A new generation of recyclable, multifunctional, safe and sustainable by design (Safe and Sustainable by Design – SSbD) plastics will be available for the aeronautics and automotive sectors.
GAIKER Technology Center, member of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance, BRTA, participates, together with 16 partners from eight European countries, in the Repoxyble project funded by the European Union within the Horizon Europe program.
The aim of this research is to develop bio-based epoxy composites that are cost and energy efficient, recyclable and sustainable while maintaining their high performance and functional properties during the use phase. To achieve this, innovative multidisciplinary development will be pursued at each stage of the life cycle, from raw materials, manufacturing and use phase to end-of-life.
This new generation of composite materials to be developed will play a key role in the manufacture of fuel-efficient and high-performance vehicles, but to achieve this, current recycling difficulties must be overcome and safety, legal and environmental aspects must be taken into account from the early design stages.
In order to validate the technology used in this research, different sustainable and bio-based structures will be developed for several case studies. For the aerospace sector an application will be created that can guarantee resistance to damage and high temperatures reached in certain flight conditions and for the automotive sector a structural application will be developed, with the same material as in the aerospace sector, but with a focus on minimizing time and energy in the process and another that focuses on the rapid curing of bio-based fibers. In addition, a graphene-based sensor will be developed for use as a high-sensitivity, fast-response electronic sensor that can be used in both sectors.
As an expert in the development and validation of toxicological studies and in the evaluation of the sustainability of processes and technologies, GAIKER will be in charge in this project of evaluating the toxicity and sustainability for both human beings and the environment of the raw materials, final products and recycled products developed, establishing the safety and sustainability requirements and comparing the results obtained with those of reference materials used so far to guide the development of the materials and ensure that they are safer and more sustainable. In addition, it will contribute to the occupational risk analysis of the designed processes.
On the other hand, as leader of the task of evaluating the sustainability of the proposed solution in the case studies at industrial level, GAIKER will evaluate the main environmental implications of the proposed materials and processes. Likewise, it will evaluate the global circularity of the solution by calculating the Materials Circularity Indicator (MCI).