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JEC winners from a cross-channel cooperation

Recognition of a commitment to further applications for flax from French/UK partners.

7th February 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Paris


Among finalists for the 2022 JEC Composites Innovation Awards are two products developed as part of the 56-month Flower Project, which has been working on the development of new flax nonwoven-based reinforcements since February 2018.

The €4.6 million French/UK project, funded by the European cross-border Interreg cooperation programme and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has brought together the University of South Brittany, INRA in Nantes, the University of Cambridge and the University of Portsmouth, and industrial partners EcoTechnilin, Howa-Tramico, Kaïros and Teillage Vandecandelaère,

Howa Tramico is being recognised by the JEC for its lead in the development of  a lightweight automotive headliner reinforced with nonwoven flax fibres in the Automotive and Road Transportation – Surfaces category.

The objective is to replace a conventional seven-layer headliner consisting primarily of glass fibres and PU foam with natural fibre nonwovens and resins via established thermoforming processes.

Kairlin monolithic and sandwich structures made from flax and PLA are recyclable and compostable. © Kaïros

Kaïros, meanwhile, has been selected in the Design, Furniture and Home category for its development within the project of Kairlin, a reinforced composite panel for point-of-sale advertising.

Kairlin monolithic and sandwich structures made from flax and PLA are recyclable and compostable, allowing point-of-sale and signage displays to be produced and recycled with low environmental impact. The panels are light weight and easy to machine, with a controlled thickness and mirror-like surface finish.

At each stage of the life cycle, from flax cultivation to end of life, Kairlin panels have been designed and validated at an industrial scale and are produced within a very short supply chain in Normandy.  The panels are processed in a one shot compression moulding step with a very short processing time at low cost.

At end of life, Kaïros Environnement plans to collect the panels, grind them and incorporate them in up to 70% of the raw materials for new Kairlin recycled panels. The company’s patented recycling process retains 98% of the mechanical and dimensional properties of the Kairlin panels. The patent relates to strict specifications for the large, stiff and thermoformable panels with controlled thickness, surface and tension properties.

The award ceremony will take place on April 26th 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 the Natural Fibres Village and most of the project partners will be available to discuss the project.

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