The RECOTRANS project obtains its first demonstrators thanks to a new manufacturing process with microwaves and light multimaterials to manufacture more sustainable vehicles
Means of transport are responsible in Europe for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. One of the tools to combat this environmental pollution is to reduce the weight of the vehicles, which allows not only to reduce their fuel consumption, but also to improve their performance, reduce the load supported by the suspension and braking systems and open the door to the introduction of the electric vehicle, in which autonomy continues to be one of the critical points.
POLYMEC participates in the RECOTRANS project whose objective is to develop technologies and design solutions that reduce the weight of vehicles without increasing their cost. For this, multimaterial thermoplastic components are already being developed that can not only lighten the parts, but also increase the complexity of their design. Microwave curing is also being incorporated into the manufacturing process to reduce manufacturing times and energy consumption, as well as hybrid metal-polymer welding to reduce raw material consumption and improve the standardization and automation of the production process. All this accompanied by an intelligent production line monitoring system.
The result of this innovative system will be the obtaining of three demonstrators framed in the automotive, truck and railway sectors: the door of a car, the rear suspension of the cab of a truck and the interior panel of the wagon of a train. The advances obtained in the project show that after the manufacture of the first prototypes, a significant reduction in costs and energy consumption is achieved compared to conventional composites, as well as a viable scenario for the recycling and processability of the thermoplastic composite recycling.
The RECOTRANS project, which began in October 2017 and will end in October 2021, is funded by the European Union under the H2020 program and involves a total of 13 partners from seven different countries. The developments carried out in this project will have application in other sectors.