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Posted 2019-04-05 16:13:42 by Admin

SeaBioComp is a collaborative project with the aim to develop and produce novel bio-based thermoplastic composite materials and the analytical protocols to evaluate long-term durability and reduced ecological impact on the marine environment.

There is a growing demand for composites for applications in a marine environment due to the growing markets for fish & seaweed farming, energy harvesting, boats, pontoons, anchoring and buoy elements, etc. At present only petrol-based composites are being used. Concern is growing about the long-term ecological impact. Litter and microplastics are contaminating the sea, having a detrimental impact on sea-life. There is a need for renewable materials to be developed; reducing the depletion of the fossil based materials, limiting emission of greenhouse gases and reducing ecotoxic impact of microplastics. At the same time, the materials should meet the highest technical performance and withstand the longterm harsh marine environment including mechanical forces, aggressive environment, intense UV light etc. Meeting this duality is a major challenge.

SeaBioComp is aiming to address this challenge. Visit the project website for more information:

To receive updates on the project including details of deliverables, opportunities, events etc please sign up to the Interest Group at:

Overall objective

SeaBioComp will develop and deliver demonstrators using innovative bio-based thermoplastic composite materials with the following characteristics:

* A tailored durability according to the specific application (2 to >20 years) for that demonstrator in a marine environment as measured by newly developed analytical methods

* At least equivalent mechanical properties compared to conventional oil-based composites

* Reduced CO2 emission (30%)

* Reduced ecotoxic impact in the marine environment due to microplastics as measured by newly developed analytical methods

* Demonstrated recycling potential of the used materials in the demonstrator

These characteristics should allow a decrease the overall ecologic impact by 50% compared to conventional oil-based counterparts through the entire value chain from production to waste treatment. These proposed bio-composite materials and the developed analytical protocols for long-term durability and ecotoxicity should lead to a shift in mind-set along the value chain realizing that bio-based composites may offer a realistic alternative to their oil-based counterparts.

Main Outputs

SeaBioComp aims to develop the following outputs in terms of novel thermoplastics biocomposites:

* 3 semi-industrial demonstrators of thermoplastic biocomposites with tailored durability, each representing a different composite production technique

* A pilot production equipment for large scale additive manufacturing of fibre-reinforced thermoplastic biocomposites and proof the potential by generating 1 semi-industrial demonstrator

SeaBioComp aims to develop the following outputs in terms of analytical protocols:

* Optimised analytical protocols to characterise the tailored, long-term durability of the formed demonstrators in a marine environment

* Optimised analytical protocols to characterise the improved ecotoxicity of the formed demonstrators in a marine environment

These protocols will be used to prove the reduced ecological impact of the developed biocomposites in a marine environment and serve as a benchmark for future regulations and standardized protocols for public authority.

SeaBioComp will distribute this information through the formation of a collaborative transregional cluster promoting a closer, more effective and operational cooperation among the key stakeholders within the bio-economy (Key Enabling Technology) and more specific the biocomposites for marine environment.

Cross-border approach

To ensure the success of this project, expertise in various domains including polymer formulation and textiles (Centexbel, CETI), composite formation (ARMINES, UPlymouth & PolyProducts BV), ecological impact and durability studies in sea environment (UPortsmouth, VLIZ & IFremer) has been combined in the SeaBioComp-partnership. The combination of renowned universities, research centres and composite companies with sector associations including Matikem, Marine South East) and public authorities (REWIN) ensure that the goals of the project stay on track and remain industrially relevant.