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      • Sea Tech Week® 2022, the sequel: let's talk about biocomposites

      • Last week in Oostende (Belgium), the final conference of the SeaBioComp project was held. This was an opportunity to look back at this Interreg "2 Seas" project devoted to the study of biocomposites from their development to their fate in the marine environment.
      • Sea Tech Week® 2022, the sequel: let's talk about biocomposites
      • "The question of the durability of these composites applied to maritime activities is central and of interest to both researchers and industry," explains Maelenn Le Gall, an engineer at Ifremer's Advanced Materials Structures and Hyperbaric Solicitations Laboratory. Durability is not only defined by the application life of the composite. Durability also includes in its definition the notion of ecotoxicology once the material is degraded. Petroleum-based composites have a longer application life than their bio-based counterparts, but the environmental impact of petroleum-based materials is greater than that of biocomposites.

        Since the start of the project in March 2019, 11 partners (laboratories and companies) including Ifremer have been working on a series of standard or self-reinforced biosourced composites: flax, PLA (Polylactic Acid, a 100% degradable polymer), etc. The entire test chain is being studied: manufacturing techniques (additive, infusion or compression moulding), mechanical characterisation, accelerated ageing in a marine environment or under the effect of ultraviolet rays, then ecotoxicology of the particles released. Various laboratories are involved (University of Portsmouth (UK), VLIZ (Belgium), etc.). Aging materials in the marine environment is one of Ifremer's specialities.

        Initially used for ocean racing boats, biocomposites are now appearing in the construction of optimists for example. The interventions of the Concarn (Brittany, France) companies Kaïros and Mer Concept during the SeaBioComp final conference proves that biosourced materials are becoming more and more common in all sectors of the nautical industry.

        "The participants of the conference themselves can testify to this: Brittany is at the forefront of biosourced materials for the marine environment", concludes Maelenn.


        Biocomposites were the subject of a session at Sea Tech Week® 2022: "Sustainable polymer materials for marine applications" led by Ifremer.


        photos: credit SeaBioComp project

      • Published on 01/26/2023
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