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RECOTRANS: microwaves and laser welding for recyclable composites in transportation


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Austria, Spain

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In keeping with its mission to respond to the social challenges of sustainable mobility, AIMPLAS - the Plastics Technology Centre - has been coordinating the European RECOTRANS project, which has made it possible to develop new design-efficient technologies and solutions to reduce vehicle weight.

Main results: 

Through the use of new materials and manufacturing processes, RECOTRANS helps produce lighter and, therefore, less polluting vehicles without increasing costs. Researchers have obtained a reduction in costs and energy consumption in the manufacture of three prototypes. They have also confirmed the feasibility of recycling and processing the resulting material.

In particular, new thermoplastic composites have been developed through the integration of microwaves and laser welding. It has been demonstrated that microwaves can be used to optimize the curing process of composites in resin transfer moulding (RTM) and pultrusion, which reduces the energy consumed, shortens manufacturing times and helps produce better-quality parts.