The National Composites Centre (NCC) has received £355K from Innovate UK to work with UK SMEs to investigate how to reduce the environmental impact of composites used in new industries.

In one project, the NCC will be part of a consortium investigating how to make retrofit roof panes more efficient at generating power by incorporating solar power and a water heating process underneath the panel, while another will see the NCC partner with mountain bike manufacturer Starling Cycles, and Composite Braiding. Plans are for the project to develop the first continuous thermoplastic fibre e-bike in the world, using thermoplastic composite braiding to create the A-frame.

The NCC says that it also working with Cecence and ELG Carbon Fibre on a project to re-design the structural entity of an aeroplane seat, replacing as much unused carbon fiber as possible with recycled materials whilst maintaining structural performance.

‘As the NCC, our role is to help industry and innovators solve some of the most challenging problems facing the world today, and how engineering can help achieve a net zero environment is one of those,’ said Leah Rider, technology program manager at the NCC. ‘We’re embedding sustainability into all our projects, and through our Sustainable Composites partnership with the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), we are working with industrial, academic and government partners, to build a supply chain from raw material suppliers to end-of-life recycling with the ability to deliver the next generation of sustainable composites by 2040.’

This story uses material from the NCC, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.