Elium® resins for composites
Elium® resins properties
- 30 to 50% lighter than the same parts made from steel with the same resistance
- Perfect for complex design forms
- Seamlessly blends with glass or carbon fibers
- Compatible with conventionial thermosetting resin transformation technologies (Resin Transfer Moulding, Infusion, Flex-molding)
- Exceptional post-thermoforming (welding and gluing)
- Styrene free compared to unsatured polyesters
- Parts easily thermoformed and recycled with comparable mechanical performance for epoxy parts
- Cost less to manufacture compared to other thermoplastic technologies:
- Conventional thermoset resin processes
- Transformation at room temperature
- No organo-sheets.
Recycling composite parts made of Elium® resin is possible!
In 2017 our R&D teams were heavily involved in developing the recycling process for composite parts made from the Elium® resin via depolymerization. The principle entails coarsely crushing the parts; the Elium®resin is then heat-depolymerized so that it can be recovered and purified into a resin with the same properties as the virgin resin. Meanwhile, the remaining carbon or glass fibers can be reused.
Being able to recycle parts made from Elium® resin is a tremendous asset, in particular for wind turbine manufacturers who currently use non-recyclable epoxy resins to manufacture the blades.
A new 25 m blade manufactured from Elium® resin
Arkema has been working successfully with the Effiwind consortium to manufacture a new 25 m wind turbine blade. The infusion process used has helped validate the feasibility of producing on an industrial scale a very large blade from a thermoplastic composite.
Developing expertise in a new manufacturing process for Elium® parts: pultrusion
In addition to the Fast RTM and Infusion processes, the Elium® resin is also suited to pultrusion. In partnership with the IRT M2P Technological Research Institute in Metz, Arkema has developed optimized grades for this specific process. Expertise in this manufacturing process opens up highly promising prospects in construction, with two target applications in particular:
Glassfiber-reinforced Elium® resin rods can replace:
- Metal rods, with the advantage of being corrosion-proof ;
- Thermoset composite rods, with the advantage of being able to be thermoformed into shape on site to consolidate complex structures such as stairs.
Currently, window profiles are made of:
- aluminum (rigid and visually attractive but a poor insulator) ;
- PVC (a good insulator but not rigid enough, which requires wide and unattractive profiles) ;
- polyester (lightweight and a good insulator, but unattractive as the reinforcing fiber can be seen on the surface).
A profile made of Elium® by pultrusion combines the rigidity of aluminum, the insulating properties of PVC, and a smooth and glossy finish.
Arkema acknowledges the support of public funding from EIT Rawmaterials, ADEME (Fr) and the French Investissements d'Avenir Programme in the development of its Elium® range of resins.
This activity has received funding from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, under the Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
Automotive and transportation
- Boat industry
Building and construction
Chemical and plastics industry
- Sports and leisure