BioConcept Car wins COMPOSITES Pioneer Award 200926 Oktober 2009 | By Angela in Automotive Industry, Awards, Biocomposites, Exhibitors, Innovation
Flax, hemp and cotton – for three decades the racing team around Fanta Vier frontman Smudo has been demonstrating that biofibres can help to win great prizes even in motor sports. The BioConcept Car project by Four Motors GmbH from Reutlingen successfully in endurance challenges with racing cars made with natural fibre-reinforced plastics.
For its pioneering role in the field of natural fibre-reinforced plastics, the BioConcept Car project is now granted the COMPOSITES Pioneer Award 2009. The prize will be awarded during the COMPOSITES EUROPE trade fair in Stuttgart on 27 October.
Capabilities of renewable raw materials
The project is the only one of its kind worldwide: the body shell of the racing car used is made almost completely from bio-composite materials. doors, mudguards, bonnet, bumpers, wings and the boot lid are made from natural fibre-reinforced plastics. In 2006, racing team operator Four Motors GmbH used a racing car with a body shell made from plant fibres for the first time. The design of the first-generation BioConcept car was based on a Mustang GT RTD.
In 2009 the concept will be developed further for a Renault Mégane Trophy 09: in cooperation with the Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V. specialist agency and the German Aviation and Aerospace Centre (DLR), its multi-part glass fibre body shell is currently being replaced step by step with biofibre parts of the next generation. The biofibre body shell parts are produced by placing natural fibres in pre-cast moulds and impregnating them with a liquid bioplastic material (linseed oil acrylate). The result are moulded parts capable of taking even the highest strain in motor sports.
The racing team will take part with both cars in the races for the BFGoodrich long-distance championships and the international Nürburgring 24-hour race. The advantage: bio-composite materials are lighter in weight than the glass-fibre reinforced plastics used in the past. They are stable, do not splinter in crashes and, most importantly, they are better for the environment.
The project is based on a concept with a scope going far beyond motor sports. By using biofíbres and biodiesel, Smudo and his team manager Thomas von Löwis do not only want to make a statement but also provide proof of the capabilities of renewable raw materials.
Award presentation on 27 October 2009 at COMPOSITES EUROPE in Stuttgart
For its merits as a pioneer in the use of natural fibres in automotive construction, the BioConcept Car project by Four Motors GmbH will be granted the COMPOSITES Pioneer Award 2009. The prize will be awarded at this year’s COMPOSITES EUROPE trade fair (27 -29 October) in Stuttgart. With the Mustang and the Renault Mégane Trophy, both generations of the BioConcept Car will be on show at the fair.
The “Composites Pioneer Award” presentation ceremony will be held on the first day of the fair, Tuesday 27 October, at 12 noon in the Foyer of Neue Messe Stuttgart. Team manager and former DTM driver Thomas von Löwis will receive the prize.
The COMPOSITES Pioneer Award trophy itself will also live up to its name this year, as its base body is made entirely from renewable materials. Industrial designer Rolf Bender, who already designed a large number of awards including, for example, the VIVA Comet in the past, has created a stele made of the biopolymer PLA (polylactic acid) and bamboo grass. Its special feature: the two PLA sheets are welded, not glued, to the layer in between.
The “COMPOSITES Pioneer Award”
The COMPOSITES Pioneer Award will be presented for the second time by the COMPOSITES EUROPE trade fair and the international specialist journal Reinforced Plastics. This is the biggest trade fair for composite materials in Germany, the largest European market for composites. At its fourth edition from 27 to 29 October in Stuttgart, more than 300 exhibitors from 25 nations will present technologies and products covering the entire value sector of fibre-reinforced composites. The focus is on innovative solutions for important application industries like vehicle construction, aviation and aerospace as well as building and construction.
This year, COMPOSITES EUROPE will give even more prominence to natural fibre-reinforced plastics, for instance by providing a separate exhibition area presenting international projects on natural fibre-reinforced plastics.
The COMPOSITES Pioneer Award is already presented for the second time. The first time was in 2007. The first winners were designers Prof. Dr. Richard Eppler and Rudolf Lindner who, fifty years previously, had built the world’s first aircraft made from fibre reinforced plastics. The award is supported by the international specialist magazine Reinforced Plastics.