Sustainable composites challenge researchers
With a focus on the automotive industry, F:3 – Fashion, Function, Futures and Smart Textiles invited to an all-day seminar about sustainable composites on the 14th of August. Participants from South Korea, Denmark, Finland and from places all over Sweden received a presentation of research currently under way both at the University and in the industry.
Composites are compound materials used in cars as well as in air planes and boats. Just like for all other materials, research is currently being carried out around the globe to find recyclable substitutes in order to achieve a more sustainable environment.
During the course of the day, speakers from various companies presented the research they do on environmentally friendly composites. Hanneli Nurmi at Volvo Trucks was one of them.
The price is still too high
The speaker who had travelled the farthest was Hyon-Joong Kim, who is a professor at Seoul National University, South Korea. Together with his research team, he has just started a two-year research project together with the School of Engineering. During his presentation, he described attempts at developing recyclable composites using fibres from the kenaf plant and the polymer polylactic acid or PLA. Many of the experiments are based on the trial and error method, in which a concept is tried and then modified before it is tried again. He explains that the challenge primarily lies in developing composites that can withstand high temperatures but also in eliminating the smell emitted by natural fibres.
Karen Marie Hasling has also travelled a bit to attend the seminar. She is a doctoral student at the Kolding School of Design, Copenhagen and was at the seminar to listen, but also to network.
Text and photo:Therese Rosenblad