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A Volvo car demonstrator made with natural fiber reinforcement and recycled ocean plastic

News International-French

27 Jun 2018

As Volvo Cars release the recycled plastics demonstrator XC60 vehicle, Bcomp’s natural fibre reinforcement technology powerRibs is combined with ocean plastic to form a novel composite material. This enables the use of ocean plastic in semi-structural automotive interior parts, and simultaneously cuts up to 50% weight compared to standard parts.

powerRibs reinforcing automotive interior parts in Volvo Cars recycled plastics demonstrator vehicle XC60

Ocean plastic, i.e. plastic waste in oceans e.g. plastic bags, fishing nets, is a major environmental hazard. However, the degraded properties of recycled ocean plastic only allow for very limited applications within the automotive industry, where it can be used to decrease the amount of primary plastics. Thanks to Bcomp’s powerRibs reinforcement technology, ocean plastic properties can be boosted using natural fibres not only to be used in a wide range of semi-structural interior parts, but simultaneously cutting up to 50% weight when compared to current standard engineering plastics.

A Volvo Cars spokesperson: “We’re very grateful for the support of Bcomp in the production of our recycled plastics demonstrator XC60 vehicle. As we start to deliver on our 2025 vision, sustainable material and technology like powerRibs, will be essential in both replacing primary plastics and reducing weight at the same time.”

A Volvo car demonstrator made with natural fiber reinforcement and recycled ocean plastic

Dr Per Mårtensson, CSO Bcomp: “We are excited to collaborate with Volvo Cars to enable the upcycling of ocean plastic through the use of high tech, renewable powerRibs. The project is closely aligned with our vision to provide high performance, sustainable solutions for lightweighting.”