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How natural fibres offer sustainable lightweighting solutions for the future of mobility

11 Nov 2021
The Greener Manufacturing Show Conference
As mobility is undergoing a revolution to become cleaner, sustainability must be an integral part of the performance definition. Using fewer, cleaner materials is crucial, and composites have an essential role to play. At the same time, these new technologies must not compromise performance. High-performance reinforcement solutions based on natural flax fibers have the potential to reduce weight by up to 50% and plastic by up to 70% in automotive interior panels. The technology has been proved and various implementation projects are ongoing with multiple OEMs for interiors in serial production models. At the same time, the Polestar Precept is perfectly showcasing the benefits of natural-fiber technologies that will be present in the production model. The true impact of this sustainable lightweighting technology lies in the large-scale automotive market, large-scale transportation and mobility as well as commercial aerospace sectors. These industries are all challenged by the necessary changes to become more sustainable and comply with changing regulations. Ongoing development projects within the aerospace sector are further expanding the uses of highly engineered natural-fiber technologies, as is the first application in a satellite panel by the European Space Agency and in a wind turbine nacelle by Greenboats. All of this is achieved with natural materials that provide viable end-of-life options and allow the automotive and larger mobility sector to get one significant step closer to a circular economy.