NetComposites was founded in 2001 with the specific objective of developing and exploiting new composite materials technologies. The company is active in materials development and web-based information, and is also well-known for its insight into emerging technologies in composites, having undertaken studies into the future of the industry for the UK Government, European Commission and private companies. The company is experienced in collaborative research projects, at European and national level, with successful, commercially exploitable outcomes, for example Recycle UK DTI project (€700K), Futureplas UK Technology Programme project (€900K), Combine UK Technology Programme (€1.25M) and Natex European FP7 project (€4.18M).
They have been developing and moulding naturally-derived biocomposites for over 5 years and have developed materials for hand lay-up, vacuum infusion and compression moulding. They coordinated the development of enhanced performance flax-based composites, which has resulted in the commercialisation of a new biocomposite material, Biotex. They have also been active in the development of furan-based biocomposites for use in structural, fire-critical applications in sectors such as construction.
They work from a dedicated practical development centre in Chesterfield, UK, with facilities and expertise for designing, moulding and testing composite materials and prototypes. The facility includes the following equipment which will be used for the project:
- 150 tonne press, 1200x1000mm, for RTM, compression moulding, stamp forming.
- 300°C programmable hot-air re-circulating vacuum oven
- Range of mechanical and physical testing equipment (tensile, compression & impact testing)
- General workshop equipment for tool-making & modifications
Role in the project
It will be in charge of exploitation and dissemination activities (WP9) and will contribute to the manufacturing of biocomposite components (WP5).