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'Bio' and recyclable adhesives are new bid at INEGI to boost circular economy in the automotive sector

17 May 2021
The principles of sustainability and the circular economy are increasingly at the heart of the development of new materials. But can adhesives also be renewable and of natural origin, and retain their characteristics for high performance applications?

INEGI specialists believe so, and are developing, in collaboration with João Bordado from Instituto Superior Técnico, bio-adhesives capable of providing levels of resistance comparable to the materials currently used in the automotive industry.

The objective is to develop a set of key technologies to support the creation of a new concept of automotive structure, based on a large percentage of structural and adhesive materials, renewable and of natural origin. For Lucas da Silva, responsible for the project at INEGI, "the transition to a more circular economy is a priority in all sectors, and it is urgent to ensure that technology offers the answers we are looking for".

Substrates derived from wood and adhesives of natural origin will give rise to new structures

This work is taking place within the scope of a project called SmartEcoStruct, which started in early March. Among the goals, is the "creation of innovative biomaterials and bio-adhesives, which will make up most of the vehicle's structure, alongside specific software tools to assess the mechanical behavior of structures composed of biomaterials", says João Bordado.

"We are also going to study the application process of the adhesives, in order to identify the best manufacturing process and optimize its performance, allowing for lower production times and costs", he adds.

The project favors the repair, recycling and durability of materials, and thus promises to make a positive contribution to reducing the environmental footprint of the transport industry.

The project "SmartEcoStruct - Bonded ecological and smart structures for the next generation of mobility platforms" is co-financed by FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology.
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