Author Archives: FLOWER project

FLOWER project continues to make progress! The FLOWER project, led by the University of South Brittany, and co-funded by the Interreg France Channel England programme has achieved major steps in the last weeks. FLOWER extension European authorities have decided to extend the project for 9 more months, based on the success of the first part of the project. Partners have managed to achieve all the project goals in time, showing their competency in the biobased composites sector. The 3 planned demonstrators have been produced: POP panels for the advertising sector, a foiling boat for the sailing sector and a car headliner for the automotive sector. New prototypes will be designed in this extension. Howa-Tramico and Kairos will create new versions of the headliner and of the advertising panels, based on their previous works they will improve the first demonstrators. Partners will start working in two new sectors, the transport and…

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With the project ending in September 2022, FLOWER enters its final phase, with the three planned demonstrators being in validation. The bill of specifications planed the conception of three innovative prototypes for the advertising, nautical and automotive sectors. The main objective was to create sustainable, cost effective and environmentally friendly lightweight composites, using locally cultivated flax fibers. All project partners participated in the making of these biocomposites, by the supply of flax fibres, the conception of semi-products (EcoTechnilin, TVDC), the production of prototypes (Howa-Tramico, Kaïros) and mechanical tests of these new materials (UBS, INRAE, UOP, UOC). The work carried on to finalise these demonstrators is presented below: Automotive headliner – Howa-Tramico (WP T1 – T2) The initial objective for this prototype was to develop and produce a new automotive headliner with an improved environmental assessment thanks to the use of plant fibre reinforcement instead of glass based ones. The developments…

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The results are in, 30 finalists have been selected by the JEC internal jury from all the entries to the JEC WORLD Innovation Awards. Three nominees have been chosen in each of the 10 categories. The FLOWER project is proud to announce that its two applications have been selected! This is a recognition of the work done by all the partners since the beginning of the project. Howa Tramico presented its prototype of a lightweight automotive headliner reinforced with non-woven flax fibres in the “Automotive and Road Transportation – Surfaces” category. Kaïros, on the other hand, presented its point-of-sale advertising demonstrator in the “Design, Furniture & Home” category. The award ceremony will take place on 26 April in Paris, one week before JEC World 2022, and will be available via live streaming. The prototypes will be presented at JEC WORLD 2022 on a stand dedicated to the FLOWER project in…

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FLOWER academic partners (University of Portsmouth, University of South brittany, University of Cambridge, INRAE) have launched together a call for papers that will be published in a Special Issue on biobased composites for advanced applications (the way for moving towards circularity: perspectives and challenges). The aim of this special issue is to highlight and address some of the issues related to the overall performance of biobased composites along with the key advantages and potential solutions for key industrial sectors. High-performance advanced application of these biocomposites in areas such as transport, marine, construction, and aerospace are still limited due to some inherent issues such as property variability of plant fibres as reinforcement, their susceptibility to high moisture uptake, lower enduring capabilities at extreme weathering conditions, and less compatibility with hydrophobic polymer matrices leading to inferior mechanical performance of resultant composites.  The aim of this special issue is to highlight and address…

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Do not miss the next FLOWER conference, organised by Cambridge University! Previous FLOWER conferences at INRAe, Nantes (April 2019), the University of Portsmouth (April 2020), and the University of South Brittany (April 2021) have served to share progress of the FLOWER project, as well as bring together academics and industry experts across the biocomposites supply chain to discuss scientific and technological developments relating to extending the uptake of biocomposites. The fourth and final FLOWER conference will take place on 15-16th December 2021 at the University of Cambridge.  The central focus of this conference will be ‘Biobased Composites for Mobility and Transportation: Moving towards Sustainability’. Some of the key themes to be explored include understanding structure-property-function relations in plant fibre composites, the specificities of designing biocomposites for transportation applications, the end-of-life scenarios of biocomposites, and industrial development of biocomposite products.  The conference will take place over three half-day sessions and host…

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More than two years after the official launch of FLOWER project, it is actually at more than the half of its four-year duration (September 2022). The article present a summary of the latest works carried out in last months months by the 8 partners Université de Bretagne Sud, INRAe Nantes, Université de Portsmouth and Cambridge, Kairos, EcoTechnilin, Teillage Vandecandelère et Howa-Tramico. The results obtained in each activities are very encouraging and bring the partners closer to the targeted developments, namely new lightweight flax performs and their integration into industrial demonstrators. Thus, significant progress was done both in technical activities  and in project management and communication. TECHNICAL AND SCIENTIFIC ACTIONS Despite a slight delay because of the actual health crisis, many significant advances have to be noted since the project launch. Scientific and technical activities could intensify thanks to the recruitment of additional staff. The FLOWER team now count about 30…

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The European Summer School on Bio-based Composites (ESBBC) is a unique event in Europe for master students, PhD students and young researchers working on bio-based composites wishing to learn, exchange experience and technical information on this multidisciplinary scientific field. This Summer school is planned from the 6th to the 8th July 2021 fully online, with 8 sessions and co-organised by 4 European projects: SSUCHY FLOWER NETFIB FibreNet Registrations are open since the 15/04/2021 and end on the 15/06/2021. Be careful, prices increase for late registrations. Check the program here Link to the ESBBC website for more information: https://events.femto-st.fr/ESBBC The ESBBC is sponsored by BBI-JU (Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking), Interreg France (Channel) England and EIPHI graduate school (Engineering and Innovation through Physical Sciences, High-technologies, and cross-disciplinary research).

The third conference planned in the framework of the European project FLOWER (co-financed by the Interreg France (Manche) England Programme) was held on the Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd April 2021. After INRAe of Nantes in 2019 and the University of Portsmouth in 2020, the lead partner University of South Brittany was the main organiser of this new event that took place remotely because of the COVID19 health crisis. The event was waiting for 140 registered participants and gathered more than 90 people simultaneously. This conference allowed to have an overview of the project progress, but also to share the latest scientific and technical research works as well as the industrial developments on biocomposites materials used in marine applications. The thematic sessions over the 4 half-days have been introduced by keynotes presentations of about 30 minutes by Prof. Jörg Müssig (University of Bremen), Prof. Aart Willem Van Vuure (KU Leuven), Dr…

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2 years after the selection of the project in January 2018 and its official launch in September 2018, FLOWER is almost half way of its duration (end: September 2022). This article gather the actions carried out by the 8 partners Université de Bretagne Sud, INRA Nantes, Universities of Portsmouth and Cambridge, Kaïros, EcoTechnilin, Teillage Vandecandelaère and Howa-Tramico in the last few months. Scientific and technical activities Technical activities could start and intensify with the acquisition of the necessary and the recruitment of missing staff. In addition to the administrative and technical staff already working in each partner’s organisation and dedicating a certain amount of time to FLOWER, the partnership is composed 6 full-time people: a project manager, 4 PhD students (2 INRA and 2 UBS) and a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Portsmouth. The main actions either carried out jointly by the partners or individually are the following: Selection…

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1 year after the 1st conference held in Nantes (organised by partner INRA), we are pleased to announce the second FLOWER conference intitled: “Advanced Biobased Materials and Composites for Engineering Applications“. The event is hosted by University of Portsmouth and will take place on Thursday 17th September 2020 as a Webinar. Topics Fabrication, processing parameters  and influences on properties Environmental aspects, long term durability, aging and characterisation of natural composites and biocomposites Plant biobased materials physico-chemisty /functionalities /mechanical properties Structure and properties relationship of natural fibre composites and biocomposites Natural fiber composites applications and end of life (EoL) evaluation Recycling Invited Speakers : Professor M. Sain, University of Toronto (Canada) : Circular biobased materials and composites technology: a fast emerging industry 4D Professor Ian Hamerton, University of Bristol: The use of HiPerDiF (high performance discontinuous fibre) technology to manufacture hybrid composites from more sustainable feedstocks Mr Andy Smith, Director of…

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