ESTELLA project has just completed its first year of work. Therefore, the consortium met last 20th and 21st June its 2nd General Assembly.
During this period we have been working on different lines: we have worked on the functionalisation of cellulose and lignin nanofibres to subsequently form epoxy resins, on the reversibility of DA lace, on the treatment of fibres with CO2 technology and on the search for new enzymes with epoxy degradation properties, among many other things.
The meeting took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Our partners from NIC (National Institute of Chemistry) hosted the meeting and showed us their facilities, laboratories and the beautiful city of Ljubljana.
We also had the opportunity to meet with the partners of another European project, PROPLANET, with whom we had an interesting discussion on the search for synergies of action.
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The research leading to these results has received funding from Horizon Europe Programme under grant agreement nº 101058371.
From 13 to 15 June 2023 the XV NATIONAL COMPOSITE MATERIALS CONGRESS (MATCOMP) was held in Gijón, Asturias. Three works of the CIDAUT Foundation were presented at this well-known congress and also CIDAUT Foundation participated with the presence of a stand of the ORISIS project (CER-20211009).
CIDAUT were presented in the area of sustainability and recycling with the work “Chemical treatment of recycled carbon fibres for revalorization in new composites” showed the results of a CIDAUT-AITEX collaborative work within the OSIRIS project (CER-20211009). In this work, carbon fibres from recycled composites have been recycled by pyrolysis processes. For this purpose, sizing treatments were carried out with the aim of improving compatibility and adhesion with polymers in order to obtain new composites. And the work “Design of new sustainable polymer composites for packaging sector” showed the results of a research project whose aim was to design new formulations from bio-based and biodegradable polymers to produce foamed materials for packaging sector.
In the area of repair and joining techniques the work “Thermoplastic weld fatigue behavior analysis using structural health monitoring sensors data” showed the results of a research aimed to integrate sensors into thermoplastic welded joints for monitoring their status of health during operating conditions.
CIDAUT, together with the partners of Salient Project, is tackling the new challenges of the forthcoming connected and automated vehicles’ crashworthiness. The new skills of the connected and automated vehicles will allow to significantly reduce the number of accidents and fatalities in our roads, but the zero crashes scenario is still far away. In the meanwhile, the communication among vehicles, V2V technology, will be a useful tool to have some pieces of important information some milliseconds in advance of the crash event.
This information will allow the absorption elements of the vehicle to give an active response to the impact they are about to suffer. But to obtain this active response, a deep research and development work is needed in order to select the right material and the optimum geometry for each of the components that shape the structure of the vehicle.
At the same time, the project aims to find a sustainable solution, and attending to this is looking for recyclable light materials, as composite, aluminum or the combination of both, taking into account the whole life cycle analysis of the components and looking for circular economy compliant solutions. In order to select the most suitable material a detailed characterization campaign of different grades of composite and aluminum is being performed to know their static, dynamic, cyclic, fatigue, thermal and impact properties, which will conduct to obtaining accurate material cards to be implemented in advances software tools that will allow to optimize the geometry of the different components involved in the passive safety behavior of the automated vehicles and also to use the right material in the right position.
The research leading to this results has received funding from Horizon Europe under Grant Agreement nº 101069600
The ESTELLA consortium held its First General Assembly on the 7th and 8th of February in León (Spain). The aim of this meeting was to review the current status of all the tasks carried out during the project and to present the next steps.
The main objective of the ESTELLA project is to increase the sustainability of thermosetting epoxy composites by acting on the whole value chain of the materials, starting from the design stage through the introduction of CAN bonds in both fossil- and bio-based matrices and fibres. Ultimately this will enable their recycling, while redefining all manufacturing and recycling processes involved, ensuring the maximal recovery rate of its components, and strengthening the environmental and economical dimensions of thermosetting composites value chain.
In this first phase of the project, two main tasks are being carried out: the development of raw materials and the investigation of microorganisms capable of degrading the developed composite. On the one hand, raw material developers are engaged in polymer design and functionalisation and fibres in order to be able to start manufacturing the tailor-made biocomposites in the coming year. On the other hand, microorganism researchers are evaluating the different species that appear in cultures made from commercial epoxy resins.
Last July 5th, the ESTELLA consortium met in Brussels to kick-off the project. All partners presented their role and they discussed the details of the implementation of the work plan for the following 42 months of research.
The ESTELLA is an ambitious initiative that proposes an innovative solution to improve the recyclability of poorly recyclable materials, specifically thermoset composites. This will involve the design of novel thermosetting biocomposites (epoxy and natural fibres) with inherent recyclability. This will be achieved thanks to the introduction of the Covalent Adaptive Network (CAN) that will allow the resin (reprocessed or repolymerised into new products) and fibres to be recycled. The recyclability of the composites developed will be evaluated by means of current mechanical, chemical and biological processes adapted to these new materials. And they will be validated through the manufacture of prototypes for the construction and leisure/mobility sectors.
The ESTELLA consortium has 13 partners from 9 European countries as well as Slovenia, Poland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Denmark, Germany and Norway. Soon our project website will be up and running!