Depolymerizable bio-based multifunctional closed loop recyclable epoxy systems for energy efficient structures

Materials, especially advanced materials, are the backbone and source of prosperity of an industrial society” (Materials 2030 Manifesto). The Green Deal and the Digital Decade establish high-priority policies for Europe, where 70% of all technical innovations are directly or indirectly attributed to advanced materials. Lightweight and high-strength materials have consistently played a key role in the construction of fuel-efficient and high-performing transportation structures.

Lightweight materials such as glass and carbon fibres composites are commonly used due to their intrinsic properties such as high mechanical performance. However, the poor recyclability and recovery aspect poses a significant challenge. The end-of-life aspect of these materials is crucial, as when landfilled they release toxic substances into the environment. Moreover, minimising resource use, energy of manufacturing processes and optimising waste disposal of future advanced materials can help mitigate cost and product’s end-to-end footprint across its global lifecycle, thereby significantly improving its overall environmental performance. REPOXYBLE will create a new class of high-performance materials -bio-based epoxy composites- targeting cost and energy effectiveness, recyclability and sustainability.

REPOXYBLE assumes an upstream approach more efficient and effective than having to address deficiencies at the end of the product development process. This approach integrates product performance, multifunctionality, sustainability, safety and potential legal concerns, while there is still time to act, on the monomers’ synthesis, the resin formulation and the future composite design.

REPOXYBLE is driven by two complementary market applications in the aerospace and automotive sectors. DAC and its Affiliated Entity OMI are the aerospace end users. As such they define the related application with reference to the Mach 4.5 aerospaceplane whose structural skin panels have to withstand temperatures as high as 300°C; they design two panels representing a part of the wing upperside and of the engine nacelle area just after the air intake.