Technological watch

Recycled core for electric car

The LUCA cars whole chassis was made using 20m² of recycled PET honeycomb cores. (Photo courtesy Bart van Overbeeke Fotografie, TU/ecomotive.)Thermoplastic honeycomb core manufacturer, EconCore, is taking part in a project to build a car made entirely out of recycled materials.

The lightweight, electric car has been designed and built by the TU/ecomotive team at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. According to EconCore, the aim of the project is to demonstrate that waste can be a valuable resource, while gaining business, engineering and manufacturing skills and experience.

The LUCA car’s whole chassis was made using 20m² of recycled PET honeycomb cores from Econcore, along with other areas such as the seat support structure, parts of the dashboard and the battery housing. After lamination of the composite skins, the lightweight panels were used in most of the structural parts of the car, the company said.

‘We’ve been involved with this project for the last four years now and each year our involvement has increased,’ said Wouter Winant, technical manager at EconCore. ‘We’re delighted to be supporting the TU/ecomotive team as we share similar values in terms of using technology to produce sustainable products and minimise waste.

‘The team asked for specific data and advice on how to optimally design and use the panels. We carried out tensile tests on the composite materials and three-point bending tests on small panel samples, with different core thicknesses and skin materials. The mechanical data from these tests provided the optimum design of sandwich panel with the right balance between sustainability, weight, strength and stiffness.’

This story uses material from EconCore, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

Publication date: 19/10/2020

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This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2020-07-14