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Samsung Venture invests in Connora Technologies for recyclable epoxy technology

News International-French

4 Dec 2014

Samsung Venture Investment Corporation funds Connora Technologies to advance commercialization efforts of recyclable epoxy thermoset technology called Recyclamine for automotive and aerospace.

Along with the recent investment, two new members join Connora’s advisory board; Andre Genton, former President of Huntsman Advanced Materials, and Brendan Iribe, an entrepreneur known recently for the acquisition of Oculus by Facebook.

Connora’s Recyclamine technology is a green chemistry platform that provides an efficient method for making and recycling composite waste materials and products. Efficiently recycling composite materials should have a positive impact in the automotive and aerospace industries, where the trend to make lighter, stronger, and more energy efficient vehicles is driving growth in the use of carbon fiber composite materials. In these and other applications, carbon fiber parts are often made in high volumes, with sometimes 20-40% of the raw materials going to waste. Since traditional thermoset plastics are not optimized for recyclability, current composite waste is intractable and often disposed of in landfill or by burning.

This investment shows that the technology will have an economic value for manufacturers just as compelling as the obvious environmental benefits. “Reclaiming the expensive carbon fiber [from manufacturing waste] in a near virgin state, and enabling OEMs to put it back into their products will help lower their costs over time.” stated Dr. Rey Banatao, Connora’s CEO.

European auto manufacturers are already facing increased regulations to make cars from more recyclable materials. The European Union Directive for End of Life Vehicles (ELV) is already pushing the limits for composite materials if they are to have a mainstream role in that industry. Under the current provisions of the ELV Directive targeted for 2015, the proportions of ELV material required for re-use and recycling are 85% by weight, while that for re-use and recovery is 95%. The 10% difference being the amount allowed for incineration and energy recovery.

Connora’s Recyclamine Technology enables carbon fiber composites to more readily qualify as a recyclable material. Connora is currently in discussions with several auto and aerospace OEMs to develop a specific Recyclamine Epoxy Resin system for use in high-pressure resin transfer molding processes (HP-RTM), suitable to the high-volume manufacturing methods being adopted by auto and aerospace manufacturers today. Epoxy resins are currently the predominant thermoset plastic used in performance carbon fiber composites.

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