MarineCare – Sustainable boats and water sports


Composite materials made of glass fibers and plastics are often used in boat building and in the production of water sports equipment (such as surfboards),.The energy-intensive production of the fibers and the plastics - most of which are petroleum-based and contain solvents – get in the way of the sustainability concept, which is becoming increasingly important in this sector. To improve sustainability in the maritime sector, Leibniz-Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe as well as the companies GREENBOATS GmbH and Swiss CMT AG are cooperating in the research project "MarineCare". The aim of the project is the development of a sustainable composite sandwich material and a corresponding minimal-waste manufacturing process for the application in boat manufacturing and for water sports equipment. The sandwich structure combines a foam core made of recycled PET, obtained from disposable bottles, with face sheets made of recycled carbon fibers (rCF) and a thermosetting, bio-based epoxy resin. So far, vacuum infusion processes are mainly used in boat manufacturing, which require a significant amount of single-use auxiliary materials (e.g. inflow pipes, distribution media and valves) for the resin distribution. To minimize waste, an alternative manufacturing process is being developed, in which the rCF-textiles will be pre-impregnated with the resin in powder-form. The resulting semi-finished products are subsequently placed to a near-net shape preform and then finally impregnated and consolidated in a vacuum-based process. The periphery for resin distribution is eliminated and the danger of incomplete impregnation is reduced.

Within the scope of the project, Leibniz-Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe, a research institution with over 30 years of process engineering and design expertise, is responsible for the development of the semi-finished textile products as well as the impregnation and curing process. In cooperation with the project partners Swiss CMT AG, which is responsible for the development of the bio-based epoxy resin powder, and GREENBOATS GmbH, whose expertise includes sustainable boat building, a kitesurfing board with foil will be manufactured as a demonstrator.

The Eurostars project „MarineCare– Sustainable Composites from Recycled Carbon Fiber and Bio-based Powder Resin for Marine Applications” is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research

M.Sc. Jan Janzen
Wiss. Mitarbeiter Imprägnier- & Preformtechnologien
Leibniz-Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe GmbH
Erwin-Schrödinger-Straße 58
67663 Kaiserslautern
Telefon: +49 631 2017-461

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Target demonstrator: Sustainable foil board made by GREENBOATS GmbH with sandwich material made of natural fibers, partially bio-based epoxy resin and a cork core, length: 1,4 m

Manufacturing of a boat hull using the vacuum infusion process

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