BIONANOPOLYS Project – Accelerating the introduction of biobased nano-enabled materials into the market

The Bionanopolys project (https://www.bionanopolys.eu/) continues to progress towards the objective of creating a network of pilot plants dedicated to the production of nanocomposites for sectors such as automotive, packaging and textile.

The consortium of Bionanopolys met for the 2nd Executive board meeting, hosted by project coordinator, at 22nd/ 23rd March 2022. The aim of the meeting was to share the successful updates of the different WPs through the Tasks leaders within each WPs.

On the other hand, Bionanopolys network extends across Europe and intends to build up a strong community on the development of safe nano-enabled bio-based materials. From March to June 2022, the national Bionanopolys stakeholder events take place.

To analyse how companies can benefit from the development of these materials and the implementation of the other services of the project, Spanish workshop was organised on 29 March. In this event, it was shown the network of pilot plants that CIDAUT makes available to the project and to the further Open Innovation Test Bed.

Recycled fire-resistant materials in the CREATOR project

The high volumes of plastic waste – for example from construction and demolition, aeronautics and electronics – pose a huge economic and environmental challenge. Although the best option would be to recycle and reuse, the cost of collecting, sorting and purifying these materials is often too high, so they are disposed of by burning, landfill or by “downcycling“, i.e. reuse in low-value products.

A specific problem is that many plastic materials contain hazardous flame retardants, such as bromine. These flame retardants were used in countless products from the 1970s onwards, but have since been banned across the EU because they can remain in the environment for years, accumulating to toxic levels.

Since 2019, the partners in CREATOR are developing a new purification process for waste material, using so-called continuous extraction technologies (supercritical CO2 and eutectic solvents in twin-screw extruders). CREATOR covers the whole value chain, starting with the collecting of thermoplastic waste streams from construction and waste electrical and electronic equipment.

The project implements ways to collect secondary raw materials, identify the presence of hazardous flame retardants, remove these contaminants from the materials and finally reuse the materials in similar applications to its original markets and also in other applications. This will convert waste into valuable raw materials, generating benefits for waste collection and sorting companies and recyclers, and reducing the amount of plastic waste in the environment.

In this process CIDAUT is working on the analysis of the improvement of the fire resistance of recycled plastic material by using environmentally friendly flame retardant additives.

If you would like more information about the project, please visit https://creatorproject.eu/

Is it feasible to produce electric vehicles in a micro-factory?

Cidaut together with the partners of Avangard European project is trying to get the answer to this challenging question. One of the objectives of the project is to design an electric vehicle assembly line, with 90% cost reduction relative to a standard carmaker assembly line, to produce modular four wheels electric vehicles and e-bikes. 

In order to obtain the ambitious target, IFEVS, as vehicle designer, has adopted a modular solution based on high strength steel tubular design, with highly automated 3D laser cutting and bending processes that have been properly though to avoid mistakes during assembly phase. The manufacturing process also implies the use of innovative 3D printing solutions for both metallic and plastic parts, and also the purchasing and assembly process is controlled by block-chain and cybersecurity solutions to warranty the low cost and efficiency of the project.

Cidaut’s contribution to the project is related to the security of the occupants and also of the vulnerable road users. In the case of the occupant and smart front end has been designed to maximize the energy absorbed and also the passenger spaces has been reinforced to avoid any significant deformation and finally an specific restraint system has been developed adopted to the particularities of these vehicles. In the case of the vulnerable road users’ protection, active and passive measures have been adopted. In the case of the passive solutions the front of the vehicle has been analysed to create “soft” surfaces. In the case of the active, artificial intelligent solutions are being applied to identify vulnerable road users and advice the driver or brake automatically.

Avangard project has completed two out of three years and it is expected that the final answer to the initial question will be yes.

Acknowledgment

The research leading to these results received funding from the European Union (EU) project Avangard (GA #869986)

Official opening of the OSIRIS project

OSIRIS is an ambitious national project whose main objective is to promote a strategic cooperation in recycling and recovery technologies to improve the circular economy of composites and complex plastic materials with high added value, a work that began last January.

This three-year project in which four Technology Centers participate: AIMPLAS (Technological Institute of Plastics), AITEX (Textile Research Institute), CIDAUT (Foundation for Transport and Energy Research and Development) and GAIKER (GAIKER Foundation), is financed by the CDTI (Centre for Industrial Technological Development), through the Ministry of Science and Innovation, in the context of the grant of aid for Technological Centers of Excellence “Cervera” (CER-20211009).

The consortium is working together, sharing experiences, solutions and good practices that contribute to improving recycling technologies for composite and complex plastic materials. Technologies in which the members of the consortium have been working in recent years and their corresponding results have allowed them to be recognized as “CERVERA Centers of Excellence”. The OSIRIS NETWORK, formed by these excellent Technological Centers, has the objective of positioning itself as a reference network both nationally and internationally, leading to the growth of the R+D+i projects and technology transfer to the business and industrial fabric.

To achieve this objective, the network is centred on three strategic technological approaches:  technology for waste recycling, recovery of intermediate products and post-processing of intermediate products into final products. On the advances of these scientific bases, led by more than 84 researchers and technicians from the whole network, the strategy of national and international dissemination, the training and the attracting talents, the attracting companies and the planning of new R+D+i projects is supported. All of the above aims to contribute with a global and strengthened vision to the challenges of the present and the future with respect to the recycling of complex raw materials.

All the advances of the OSIRIS NETWORK can be soon followed in the website: www.redosiris.com

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Cidaut participates in the Dialogue on Technical Capabilities between Ohio (USA) and Spain

On the 17th of November, CDTI (Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial) has organized a meeting between relevant stakeholders in the automotive sector from Spain and Ohio in order to find synergies between both regions.

The main objective of the event is to present the technological capabilities of the automotive sector, both from Spain and Ohio, and promote technological cooperation between Spanish and American entities in this technological field. The event has consisted of a first part in which the sector in Spain and the State of Ohio have briefly exposed and, subsequently, the technological capabilities of the Spanish and American entities participating in the event have been briefly presented.

The institutional opening has corresponded to Mr. Jonathan Bridges. Managing Director, Automotive, Steel, & White Goods at JobsOhio and Mr. Javier Ponce, General Manager at CDTI. After the introduction to the event, it has been the turn of the Spanish participants, where Cecilia Median from Sernauto has made a quick and precise overview of the Spanish automotive sector; Javier Romo from Cidaut has presented Integra Consortium, where four research and development centers, Cidaut, CTAG, Itene and i2cat, are collaborating to foster the implementation of safe and resilient automated driving solutions; Rodrigo Castiñeira from Indra Sistemas has explained their vision of mobility in the horizon 2030; José Manuel Mínguez from Ferroglobe Innovation has presented charging infrastructure solutions and new evolutions on lithium ion batteries; José Jesús Molinero, from Begas Motor has presented innovative solutions for sustainable mobility in cities oriented to the development of new power train configurations; Luke Stedke from Drive Ohio has shown success cases in the region of Ohio related to automated, connected, electrified and shared mobility; and Eric Philips from Union County and Marysville has presented the smart mobility corridor developed in the route 33.

The closing remarks were made by Mrs. María J. Fernández. Trade Commissioner. Trade Commission of Spain in Chicago. Embassy of Spain in the USA. Additional actions are planned to enhance collaborations at both side of the Atlantic to foster the integration of innovative mobility solutions.

3D printing revolution in the automotive sector

Cidaut has participated in an event organized by Hewlett Packard and Sernauto with the collaboration of Optimus 3D and Industrias Alegre. The event was hold at Cidaut’s facilities on the 25th of November fulfilling all sanitary measurements derived from COVID-19.

The event started with a warm welcome by Cidaut’s president, Mr. José Oliveri, who highlighted the importance of the Research and Development Centers to introduce innovative solutions in the industry and enhance the knowledge dissemination. María Luisa Soria, Institutional Relationships and Innovation Manager at Sernauto, presented a summary of the automotive sector in Spain, playing special attention to the new challenges and plans related to the Next Generation funds.

On behalf of Cidaut, Javier Romo, presented a methodology to determine the behavior of the components obtained through additive manufacturing processes during their service live. It was highlighted that in all the components manufactured in the industrial sector there is a big influence of the manufacturing process in the final component behavior, and for this reason, it is very important to understand the manufacturing process and its influence on the material properties. Additive manufacturing is not an exception, and depending on the technology, the process’ parameters and the environmental conditions the final properties may change. Thanks to the methodology developed by Cidaut, it is possible to take into consideration all these parameters and to determine through simulation the real properties of the component and thanks to it, to determine its behavior during its service live.

In the final part of the event, Victor Vaccaro from Industrias Alegre and Alberto Ruiz de Olano from Optimus3D shown the industrial point of view showing some success solutions developed in the last years.

Outside the meeting room, all the participants could see and touch several innovative components obtained though additive manufacturing provided by the event organizers.