The 2022 winners of JEC Composites Innovation Awards unveiled

Each year, since its creation more than 20 years ago, the JEC Composites Innovation Awards celebrate successful projects and cooperation between players of the composites industry. The competition has especially shined a light on some 203 companies and 499 partners, awarding them for the excellence of their composite innovations.

The 2022 winners of JEC Composites Innovation Awards unveiled

9 minutes, 60 secondes

The ceremony took place on April 26th in Paris. Highlighted by the presence of jury members, finalists and winners but most importantly, as it was livestreamed, the gathering of many people all around the world to watch the awaited results. The enthusiasm for the Innovation Awards, exactly 7 days prior to JEC World, is a good sign of the industry’s eagerness to get back together and ensure the future of composites innovation.

Discover here the winners in each category:

Category Aerospace – Application

100% thermoplastic panel for cabin interiors 

Company: Diab (Sweden)
Partner(s): Rescoll, France – AkzoNobel, Netherlands – Roctool SA, France
Description: Diab has developed a 100% thermoplastic and recyclable sandwich panel for Aerospace cabin interior able to answer the current challenges (sustainability, REACH compliance, production rate increase…). The 100% thermoplastic (TP) sandwich panel developed is made of TP skins and a Diab Divinycell TP foam core. The TP skins can be directly welded on the foam core without the use of an adhesive film. All the materials used in this development are already qualified at various Aerospace OEMs and used in serial production today. Thus, this development is a concrete short-term solution for Aerospace cabin interiors.

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Key benefits:

  1. Recyclable panel
  2. Significant production time savings
  3. Weight and global costs savings
  4. REACH regulatory compliance (no phenolic)
  5. One step process

More information: www.diabgroup.com
Hall 5 – Booth N39

Category Aerospace – Process

Innovative Infusion Airframe Manufacturing System

Company: MTorres Disenos Industriales S.A.U. (Spain)
Partner(s): Airbus Defense and Space, Spain
Description: Automated OOA portable manufacturing system for an integrated torsion box of a wing (including skin, stringers, spars and stiffeners in a one-shot part), thus avoiding assembly processes and fasteners. MTorres has implemented and tested an innovative airframe manufacturing system for Airbus. The main objective of the IIAMS project (Innovative Infusion Airframe Manufacturing System) Cleansky 2, is the development of an innovative pilot system to manufacture an integrated composite wing box structure. Airbus has designed the component. MTorres has been responsible for the design and manufacturing of the equipment and the demonstration parts. Wing box is manufactured by OOA infusion. Structural elements use MTORRES AFP for narrow dry fiber. 3D layup was used for the skin, and 2D layup plus hotforming for the rest of elements.

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Key benefits:

  1. OOA, one-shot infusion
  2. Automated process
  3. Parts integration, no fasteners
  4. Portable, low-cost
  5. Energy-saver, lightweight

More information: www.mtorres.com
Hall 5 – Booth N42

Category Automotive & Road Transportation – Structural


Company: Jaguar Land Rover Limited (UK)
Partners(s): Broetje Automation UK Ltd, UK- CCP Gransden ltd, UK – Expert Tooling & Automation Limited, UK – Toray International U.K. Limited, UK – University of Warwick, UK – CFMS Lilited, UK
Description: TUCANA is an enabler for future Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) demonstrated by redesign of the whole rear body structure of a Jaguar I-Pace. Unlike traditional fabric-based manufacture using RTM or Autoclave technology which are not viable for a high volume (40,000+ unit per annum) cycle time nor a business case point of view, TUCANA focused on optimizing the use of material and maximizing the MPa/kg. To achieve this, the topology optimization helped define the major load-path hence creating the skeleton of the structure where fast-cure continuous carbon or glass fibre UD (Uni Directional) were laid. To put flesh around this skeleton and connect the UD together CF-SMC (Carbon Fibre Sheet Moulding Compound) and GF-SMC (Glass Fibre Sheet Moulding Compound) were used for the low cost, fast cycle time and high design freedom capable of achieving complex 3D shapes and convoluted design features not (easily) achievable with traditional fabric. Tailored materials, specific moulding parameter and proprietary modelling method were key to success.

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Key benefits:

  1. Lighter body structure
  2. Reduced CO2 emission as an enabler of Battery Electric Vehicle adoption
  3. Stiffer body structure coping with BEV structural requirements
  4. Reduced part count – lower energy, floorspace, logistics (ie. fewer trucks)
  5. Ease of adoption, comply with automotive manufacturing process & infrastructure

More information: www.jaguarlandrover.com

Category Automotive & Road Transportation – Surfaces

Seamless Integration of Flexible Solar Film in FRP

Company: AUDI AG (Germany)
Partner(s): Mubea Carbo Tech GmbH, Austria – Apollo Power Ltd., Israel
Description: Seamless integration of flexible solar film in automotive fiber-reinforced plastic components (roof top, hood, etc.) for high-volume application, using a high-pressure resin transfer molding process. With the infusion of self-extinguishing polyester resin and biaxial fiberglass fabrics, 3,000 m² of composites frames were manufactured, the largest of which is 4 meters high, 6 meters long and only 250 kg. The innovation comprises integration of non-encapsulated flexible solar films from Apollo Power (Israel) in fiber-reinforced plastic parts by using HP-RTM process at Mubea Carbo Tech (Austria). The final product shows superior results including best solar efficiency (>200Wp), lightweight design (min. 50% lighter than standard solar glass roof), and compliance with automotive quality standards. Ultimately, parts made with sustainable materials like natural fibers (e.g., flax), bio-resins and solar film can reduce CO2 footprint enormously. Furthermore, complex 3D-shapes with higher degree of drapery can be realized too and thus the technology can be transferred to other components and industries (e.g., railway or aerospace).

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Key benefits:

  1. Lightweight design (more than 50% weight saving vs. solar glass roof)
  2. Class A surface with high aesthetics and design freedom
  3. Range extends through applied solar film
  4. High cycle production with fast cure resin < 20 min per part
  5. Possibility to combine flexible solar film with natural fibers and bio-resins

More information: www.audi.de

Category Building & Civil Engineering

Structural re-use of thermoset composites

Company: Windesheim (Netherlands)
Description: The innovative methodology of structural re-use of thermoset composites enables End-of-Life thermoset composites to be re-used in new products. It is a circular solution for these materials. In the methodology of structural re-use of thermoset composites the End-of-Life products are machined into smaller parts like strips or flakes. These smaller parts serve as reinforcing elements for new products. Some virgin resin and reinforcement have to be added but the new product is entirely made of thermoset composite components and can be re-used with the same method again when it is End-of-Life or End-of-Use. Therefore, the methodology is a circular solution for the thermoset composite products like windmill rotor blades or composite boat hulls.

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Key benefits:

  1. Circular solution for End-of-Life thermoset composites.
  2. Solution for End-of-Life windmill rotor blades and composite boat hulls.
  3. Alternative for tropical hard wood used in infrastructural applications.
  4. Makes thermoset composites circular.
  5. Gives a good business case for the industry

More information: www.windesheim.nl

Category Design, Furniture & Home

Kairlin®: a new recyclable & compostable material

Company: KAIROS (France)
Partners(s): Ecotechnilin, France – University of South Brittany, France – University Of Portsmouth, UK
Description: Kairlin® is a recyclable and compostable biomaterial, allowing point-of-sale and signage displays to be produced and recycled with low environmental impact, in line with the circular economy approach. The Kairlin® is a Flax Poly-(lactid)(PLA) reinforced composite panel, developed in monolithic and sandwich structures. These bio-panels present a light weight, easy machining, controlled thickness and surface finish. At each stage of its life cycle, from the flax cultivation which compose it to its end of life, the Kairlin® has been designed and validated at an industrial scale to have a high degree of sustainability in its composition and process. Kairlin® is produced within a very short supply chain, from the flax cultivated and transformed in Normandy (France).The Kairlin® is processed in one shot compression molding step with a very short processing time allowing a high product performance at low cost.

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Key benefits:

  1. Mirror surface finish for printing
  2. Low environmental impact
  3. Lightweight & high mechanical properties
  4. Recyclability & composting end-of-life
  5. Local & circular economy

More information: www.kairos-jourdain.com
Hall 5 – Booth B51

Category: Equipment & Machinery

Winding the future – Fibraforce technology

Company: Fibraworks GmbH (Germany)
Partners(s): Hille Engineering GmbH & Co. KG, Germany – SEM GmbH, Germany – Quality Automation GmbH, Germany – Fibraforce AG, Switzerland
Description: Fibraforce technology – revolutionizing the high-volume production of genuine customized multiaxial thermoplastic cross-ply laminates with our continuous and ultra-fast winding process. Lightweight design is a key technology for conserving resources and composites are the cornerstone. They are becoming more common, but often involve complex processes and high costs. Our patented technology enables an efficient, high-volume process for reinforcements with multiaxial fiber orientation, whether they are based on dry fibers or thermoplastic composites. It provides ideal lightweight solutions by delivering customizable reinforcements with fiber orientations and lay-ups required by the market, combined with the benefits of an ultra-fast, continuous, and cost-effective production technology.

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Key benefits:

  1. Ultra-fast production of customized thermoplastic laminates at up to 675 kg/h
  2. Individual material combinations can be processed flexibly and fast
  3. Making thermoplastic composites more affordable in cost-driven applications
  4. Tailored to customers’ needs to streamline production and reduce waste
  5. Increasing sustainability and efficiency in composite based lightweight design

More information: www.fibraworks.com
Hall 5 – Booth E56 / G55

Category Maritime Transportation & Shipbuilding

Marine rotor blades made of Voith ‘Carbon4Stack’

Company: Voith Composites SE & Co. KG (Germany)
Partners(s): J.M. Voith SE & Co.KG | VTA, Germany – Gurit, UK – Cotesa GmbH, Germany
Description: Voith Inline Thruster CFRP rotor blades are made using Voith’s groundbreaking prepreg stacks (Carbon4Stack) laminate to provide ultimate vessel maneuverability to the marine industry. The innovative CFRP rotor blade design of the Voith Inline Thruster (VIT) is the result of a close R&D corporation between Voith Composites, Voith Turbo, Gurit and Cotesa. The blades are made using precisely laminated stacks (Carbon4Stack) laid on Voith’s automated machinery (VRA NextGen). The advantages of carbon fiber rotor blades over conventional materials are clear: the material is lighter, stiffer and more resistant to corrosion.

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Key benefits:

  1. Higher quality standard through precisely automated lamination
  2. Higher productivity from faster/fewer manufacturing processes
  3. Lower production cost from reduction of processes
  4. Reduced waste and reduced manufacturing hazard
  5. Higher consistency in the mass manufacturing of parts

More information: www.voith.com
Hall 6 – Booth U37

Category Renewable Energy

Recyclable blade

Company: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (Denmark)
Partners(s): Aditya Birla Advanced Materials, India
Description: Siemens Gamesa, in partnership with Aditya Birla Advanced Materials has designed, manufactured, and are ready to install the first offshore wind turbine blades that can be easily dissolved & recycled. Lightweight structures are key for designing competitive wind blades and turbines. Composites are the best compromise between weight and strength and are the leading technology within wind industry. The composites are built with resins that are strong and durable, but difficult to degrade and recycle. The majority of decommissioned blades go to landfill. The RecyclableBlade offers the same high quality and lifetime Siemens Gamesa is known for. After decommissioning, the blade can be recycled by dissolving the matrix under mild acidic conditions, thus preventing unnecessary landfill. The reinforcements, core materials, plastics and metal parts can be easily recovered in good quality and value. The matrix is recovered as thermoplastic material with an interesting profile of properties. The recovered matrix and reinforcement can then be reused in appropriate applications.

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Key benefits:

  1. Low-energy demanding recycling process
  2. Reduces life cycle impacts
  3. Lowers end-of-life costs
  4. Leaves no waste, only resources
  5. Easy to adopt, designed for long blades

More information: www.siemensgamesa.com

Category Sports, Leisure & Recreation

Race ready bond between thermoset and thermoplastic bio composites

Company: Bcomp Ltd. (Switzerland)
Partners(s): KTM Technologies GmbH, Austria – Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials GmbH, Germany – ALBA Tooling & Engineering GmbH, Austria – Altendorfer Kunststofftechnik GmbH, Germany
Description: 1st ready to market product which unites motorsport proven natural fibre composite materials and road focused bio-based thermoplastics with a reversible and recycling-ready connection technology. The innovation is based on KTM’s CONEXUS technology, which allows to combine thermoset and thermoplastic materials via direct chemical bonding. Sustainability is becoming one of the main drivers behind all new developments and technologies from sports & leisure to mobility. Following this ideal, the consortium created Bcomp’s ampliTex™ flax fabric to replace the carbon- and glass fibres and a bio-based thermoplastic PA6 substitutes conventional PA6. Most importantly, the coupling layer bonds those different material types, and makes it possible to separate them by heating the product to the thermoplast’s softening temperature. This allows the best suited end-of-life option for both technologies.

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Key benefits:

  1. Scalability: Bonding thermoset and thermoplastic materials
  2. Sustainability: High-performance sustainable raw materials
  3. End-of-Life: Viable EoL-scenario for composites
  4. Design: Showcasing sustainable performance looks
  5. Functionalisation: Best material for each requirement

More information: www.bcomp.ch
Hall 5 – Booth A45

JEC World 2022 • Paris Nord Villepinte • 3-5 May 2022
Discover all the finalists and winners on the Innovation Area hall 5, booths H93-J93-L93.

More information www.jec-world.events