Towards fully sustainable high-performance biocomposites for lightweight vehicles

Lead Participant: Netcomposites Limited

Abstract

Cellulose fibres hold a potential to provide a sustainable alternative to glass and carbon fibres. However, their

application on a commercial scale is limited by the challenges around durability, water resistance, and

structural strength/engineering performance. In the automotive industry, there is interest in replacing glass

and carbon fibre, plastic and metal elements with biomaterials. Such substitution will result in the reduction of

vehicle weight, leading to increased fuel efficiency and lower carbon footprint. Some success in this matter has

been reported concerning the elements of car interiors, yet application of biocomposites for external parts

remains a challenge. In this project we examine a novel modification of cellulose fibres in order to improve the

water resistance and the strength/engineering performance related characteristics. Modified cellulose fibres

will be used to produce samples that will subsequently undergo testing according to the specifications provided

by car manufacturers. If successful, it will be a significant step towards 100% bio-based materials to be used in

a car body.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Netcomposites Limited, Chesterfield £90,492 £ 63,344
 

Participant

Westfield Sports Cars Limited, Kingswinford £22,204 £ 15,543
Element Materials Technology Hitchin Limited, London, United Kingdom £80,334 £ 40,167
University of East Anglia, United Kingdom £160,161 £ 160,161

Publications

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