Working in partnership with customers Starboard and Maui Fin Company (MFC), COBRA has successfully integrated novel recyclable epoxy resin systems (Aditya Birla’s proprietary Recyclamine® technology) into its series production of water sports components and further demonstrated a closed loop process to re-use the recovered reinforcement fabrics and thermoplastic polymers produced by recycling of the thermoset composite.
The successful accomplishment of the project is a massive leap forwards towards sustainable development and circular economy. Using Aditya Birla’s recyclable epoxy systems Epotec YDL5552-THR9351 to infuse watersports fin moulds and the recyclable epoxy RTM system Epotec YDL5540-THR9151 to produce components, COBRA and their 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 confirming comparable properties to existing parts, fins were also tested on the water by Starboard and MFC riders to ensure the new process did not affect the boards handling or feel.
Following the success of this initial project, COBRA and Aditya Birla are now focusing on scaling up the recycling infrastructure. Starboard and MFC will offer recyclable epoxy fins to customers in early 2020 and COBRA is working on the next stages to use recyclable epoxy resins for larger components and moulds within the group.
The JEC Innovation Awards - organized by the JEC Group - are recognized as the industry’s most prestigious awards that identify, promote and reward the most innovative composite technology developments worldwide. The award winners will be announced in Paris during JEC World 2020 on the 4th March 2020.
COBRA and Aditya Birla will showcase this novel recycling technology at JEC World 2020, presenting watersports board fins produced with recyclable epoxy resin, mould tooling featuring reclaimed glass fibres and injection moulded components produced with reclaimed thermoplastic materials on their booth.