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Closed loop recycling of epoxy parts technology awarded

COBRA has taken a massive leap forwards in sustainable development by incorporating recyclable epoxy thermoset systems into series production

13th May 2020

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Chonburi, Thailand


COBRA International, one of the world’s largest OEM manufacturers of composite products for water sports, automotive, marine and civil engineering, and Aditya Birla Chemicals, a leading manufacturer of epoxy resins and advanced materials have announced that their latest sustainability project has won a 2020 JEC Innovation Award.

Working in partnership with customers Starboard and Maui Fin Company (MFC), COBRA has successfully integrated novel recyclable epoxy resins (Aditya Birla’s proprietary Recyclamine technology) into its series production of water sports components and has initiated a closed loop process to re-use the recovered reinforcement fabrics and thermoplastic polymers produced when the epoxy composite is recycled.

COBRA has taken a massive leap forwards in sustainable development by incorporating recyclable epoxy thermoset systems into series production. Using Aditya Birla’s recyclable epoxy system Epotec YDL5552-THR9351 to infuse water sports fin moulds and the recyclable epoxy RTM system Epotec YDL5540-THR9151 to produce components, COBRA and its partners have initiated a sustainable closed loop recycling process that will significantly reduce composite material waste volumes.

In late 2019, the first moulds were made, and various fins were produced to customer designs.  Following mechanical testing to confirm comparable properties to existing parts, fins were also tested on the water by Starboard and MFC riders, ensuring the new process did not affect the boards handling or feel and giving a green light for series production.

“This is a fantastic achievement with huge potential to make more sustainable epoxy components,” comments Danu Chotikapanich, CEO, COBRA. “Building on the success of this project, COBRA and our partners are now focusing on scaling up the recycling infrastructure.  Starboard and MFC will offer recyclable epoxy fins to customers throughout 2020 and COBRA is also working on the next stages to use recyclable epoxy resins for larger components and moulds within the group.”

Mr. Pradip Dubey, CEO, Aditya Birla Chemicals, Advanced Materials commented: “Our endeavour has always been to make meaningful contribution towards a sustainable world and to develop products which are safe and have a lower carbon footprint for wide ranging applications.”

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