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Bio composites - building fishing rods from carrots

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I've not heard much about this sector, but became interested after reading




The company is based in UK http://www.cellucomp.com/




US company http://www.heartlandbio.com/index.html



Our mission is to design, manufacture and distribute eco-friendly, high performance, non-toxic, sustainable composite material building products that contribute to a low maintenance, healthy lifestyle. We are committed to remaining at the forefront of natural fiber-polymer composite lumber technologies by bringing to market new and innovative composite wood products that benefit the environment and society.


I think theres potential here.

  • As the oil price increases many of its uses will be replaced.
  • The new materials have unique properties of their own.
  • Makes use of waste materials
  • Requires lots of R and D so possibility of breakthroughs
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Behind every classic of design lies some innovation in materials or fabrication. So what materials will tomorrow's brilliant new products be made from? Material Connexion, a materials library for designers, has just unveiled its inaugural MEDIUM awards, for the best materials of the year. The grand-prize winner and the 11 honorable mentions will then be shown in January at the Material Connexion showroom in New York. Here's an exclusive sneak peek of a few of those mind-bending innovations.


Above: Abtech Industries's Smart Sponge, which took an honorable mention. The material absorbs oil but not water--thus potentially solving the once intractable problem of oil-spill cleanup.




The handiwork of the Objet Geometries's revolutionary new 3-D printers. Rapid prototyping typically only allows you to build objects out of only one material--either cutting it away with drills, or building it up with lasers and plastic. These printers, however, allow prototypes made in all at once, out of multiple materials, thanks to jet printing.


Innegrity's Innegra S fiber, the lightest alternative to Kevlar that's currently on the market. While it looks delicate, this stuff can stop bullets when layered; one application is in army helmets.


Quin Media Arts & Sciences creates textured metal cladding for buildings, which changes colors based on lighting and where the viewer is standing.

One application.


The rubbery foams used in sports shoes are pretty nasty--they're resource intensive, since they're derived from oil. Arkema's Pebax Renew is the first plant-based alternative. Comprised of 95% plant-based materials, they reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.


Cellucomp's Curran has a strength that rivals carbon fiber. But instead of carbon strands, the "biofiber" is made from--get this--processed carrots.

And now the grand-prize winner: Concrete Canvas. The fiber is impregnated with concrete; it only hardens when you add water. Thus, you can create "buildings in a bag"...


The first stage: Roll out...

...forming the canvas...

...and bingo, a concrete building that can be erected almost as quick as a tent. The applications abound, from food storage in disaster areas, to military barracks.


=== ===


Fascinating - worth a closer look!

Are any of these companies quoted?

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I couldnt find any. I wonder if the R and D is done mostly by the big corps like ICI or groups on venture funding.


Googling brings up an interesting paper about the advantages and disadvantages.


Abstract: Biocomposites offer a significant non-food market for crop-derived fibres and resins. Considerable growth has been seen in the use of biocomposites in the automotive and decking markets over the past decade or so, but application in other sectors has hitherto been limited. Nevertheless, with suitable development, the

potential exists for biocomposites to enter new markets and thus stimulate an increase in demand for non-food crops. This paper reviews some of the technological challenges being faced in bringing these materials to a wider market together with potential solutions, as well as discussing market forces influencing their commercial uptake.


2006 Society of Chemical Industry








It seems like the wood–plastic composites are attracting attention as a way of using waste products.


The car industry and building indusrty are already using these.


Petro products are still used to link the cross fibres and provide bonding.


Use of crops for industrial materials could stimulate rural economy.


Directives such as the End of Life Vehicle (ELV) and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) create an economic incentive.


Biocomposite materials provide a competitive advantage for manufacturers over traditional reinforcing fibres like glass and resins such as polyesters as product reuse or recycling at the end of life becomes the norm


investment is still needed in research and development if a sustainable biocomposites industry

is to be established.

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Theres is a biocomposites trade fair




5 November 2009, Stuttgart – Composites Europe the European trade fair for the composites industry has once again registered noticeable gains at this year’s event which was held in Stuttgart from 27 to 29 October. With a 15% increase in exhibitor numbers and a 48% increase in trade visitors compared to the previous event, the show continues on its successful course unhampered. A total of 313 exhibitors from 25 countries and 6,120 trade visitors came to the fourth edition of the show.


According to a survey taken by an independent market research institute at the show, more than 60% of the companies interviewed expect a pronounced increase in orders and another 27% expect the economic situation to remain at least stable. Fewer than 10% of companies assume that the sales situation in the composites sector will deteriorate further.


Organisers say that intentions to invest match these high expectations. “One in three companies came to Stuttgart with concrete projects“, says Markus Jessberger, Event Director with Reed Exhibitions Deutschland. “Almost 20 percent of these came with investment projects worth more than € 200,000 and another 17% had projects with a value in excess of € 1m.” The focus of interest was on raw materials, production and reinforcement technologies, but also on hybrid materials, semi-finished and finished products, according to the organisers.


Presentation of the AVK Innovation Awards and Composites Pioneer Award


Once again, AVK presented its innovation award this year for outstanding developments in the area of reinforced plastics. Five winners altogether were awarded a prize in four categories. In the industrial category, Volkswagen AG and Dresden Technical University shared the first place with the BMW Group; in the environmental category, the happy winner is DSM B.V., and the University Award went to the Department of Plastics Processing of RWTH Aachen (IKV). A special award was granted by AVK to cpm composite products mücke for the ‘SplashCar’ .


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