Bio-epoxy resins based on cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) can reportedly offer improved toughness, damping and sustainability over synthetic epoxies.
Bio-epoxy resins based on cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) can reportedly offer improved toughness, damping and sustainability over synthetic epoxies.

The CARBIO project, a partnership between Composites Evolution, SHD Composite Materials, KS Composites, Delta Motorsport, Jaguar Land Rover and Cranfield University, has developed a carbon/flax hybrid automotive roof using Composite Evolution’s Biotex flax material.

 The project, which involves Jaguar Land Rover, is focused on developing carbon/flax hybrid composites to produce automotive structures with reduced weight, cost, environmental impact and improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

 The adoption of carbon fiber-epoxy composites to reduce vehicle weight is presenting significant challenges to the volume automotive industry. However, when compared to carbon, flax fibers can be more renewable, lower in cost, CO2 neutral and have improved vibration damping properties. In addition, bio-epoxy resins based on cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) can reportedly offer improved toughness, damping and sustainability over synthetic epoxies.

Environmental impact

 By creating a hybrid structure using flax-bioepoxy to replace some of the carbon, enhanced properties such as lower weight, cost, NVH and environmental impact can be gained.

According to the companies, a 50/50 carbon/flax hybrid biocomposite, made from Biotex Flax supplied by Composites Evolution and prepregged by SHD Composite Materials, has contributed to achieving the objectives of the project. With equal bending stiffness to carbon fiber, the hybrid biocomposite has 15% lower cost, 7% lower weight and 58% higher vibration damping.

 The prototype roof, designed by Delta Motorsport and manufactured by KS Composites, will be on display at the Advanced Engineering show, taking place from 4-5 November 2015, Birmingham, UK.

This story is reprinted from material from The CARBIO project with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.