JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 40

TRANSPORTATION biocomposites
trial adopters, including Westward
Industries Ltd. (WI), to develop and
commercialize advanced biocomposites based on Canadian-grown natural
fibres. In the past 10 years, CIC commercialized and transferred over 80
technologies to the Canadian industry.
WI is an SME with a focus on vehicle
product innovation and quality production that specializes in building vehicles for niche markets. The company
is most notable for the manufacture of
parking enforcement vehicles for cities
across the United States, including San
Francisco and New York. The development of a semi-structural passenger
tub for the WI GO-4 vehicle (Figure
3) - manufactured with controllably
biodegradable biocomposite materials - is essential for WI to transition
to lighter-weight, economical vehicles
with a low carbon footprint. Achieving this goal is critical for the company
to reduce its production-line costs, to
sustain its presence in existing markets, and to penetrate deeper into markets with high environmental protection standards (such as in California).

yhydroxyalkanoate biopolymers with
different monomer compositions tested at the CIC will identify the polymer
that has optimum binding with the
natural fibre. Working with the SCION Research Institute (SRI) in New
Zealand will help scale up the production of the biopolymer. SRI has developed a technology to utilize whole cell
mass instead of polymer extraction.
This technology will be optimized for
the commercial scale-up and extraction of the PHA polymer.

Using CIC phenomics technologies
- via the 2015 JEC Award-winning
FibreCITY programme - to characterize fibres makes it possible to
determine critical-to-quality traits
for automotive-specific biocomposite
applications. Elite germplasm of flax
varieties selected for such traits have
been identified and collected based on
knowledge of fibre-related gene networks generated by gene expression
and mapping studies. In the future,
it is hoped that new varieties of flax
with optimal fibre composition will be
developed.

Production efficiency

Physical and chemical properties
The microbial polymer/resin produced
in Dr. Levin's laboratory is designed
to exhibit the physical and chemical
properties required for biocomposite
binding resins including thermostability, creating a compatible match with
the chosen fibre variant. Experimental
amounts of medium-chain-length pol-

40

The development and testing of the
tub prototype for WI's GO-4 vehicle
using renewable biocomposites will
help establish the commercial credentials of the biocomposites industry
to create a fully renewable industrial
material for applications specific to
the automotive sector. The renewable
tub is expected to be integrated in WI's
production line within two to three
years after the successful completion
of the FiCoGEN project, contributing
to reduced production costs, increased
sales and a safer working environment.
The transition from 28 metallic components to three biocomposite components will result in a significant improvement in production efficiency,
leading to a cost-reduction of up to
36% (currently approximately $1M
(CDN)/annum) for the production
of this vehicle. The biocomposite tub
will increase the renewable content
and sustainability of the vehicle itself,
contributing to increased sales and
market penetration benefits (with an
anticipated $2M (CDN)/annum revenue increase). The electric vehicle
platform uses a 96-volt, 32-cell lithium-ion battery. It has a 19.2-kW electric motor, charges on 110V or 220V
using a standard J1772 electric vehicle
plug, and has an average range between
105-120 km. The incorporation of the
novel biocomposite components will
allow a significant weight reduction
(up to 30%) in the vehicle with consequent enhancements to power train

jec composites magazine / No107 August - September 2016

and energy efficiency as well as vehicle
longevity. Furthermore, natural fibres
will contribute to providing a safer
workplace for WI as they are less abrasive than glass particles and are therefore less damaging to machinery and
personnel during vehicle production.
In addition to the direct benefits to WI,
the manufacture of the GO-4 tub will
provide the proof-of-concept of fully
renewable biocomposites to the automotive sector through a reliable supply chain. This important research and
commercialization is a pre-requisite to
expanding the penetration of advanced
renewable materials in that arena and
soon in other sectors such as aerospace
where light-weighting is premium.
There are many other benefits for WI
and, by extrapolation, the larger automotive sector in general. They include
the likelihood of natural fibres and
biodegradable resins to create a potentially closed carbon loop and relatively low energy footprint, enabling
WI to penetrate prospective markets
with carbon footprint restrictions. The
manufacture of the tub from renewable
biocomposites will allow the company
to expand its market share with the
bio-enhanced vehicle based on sustainable tailored design, space consciousness, ergonomics, enhanced return on investment and fuel efficiency.
FiCoGEN, with its focus on becoming
a nexus for determining genomics-enabled fibre quality, will be a key contributor to both national and international
visions for synergies between the bioproducts and automotive sectors, connecting producers and end-users along
the high-specification biomaterials
supply chain. Here we demonstrate
that these advanced technologies are
available to the composites industry
and can be proven effective. The future is now.
More information:
www.genomeprairie.ca


http://www.genomeprairie.ca

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016

Cover
Edito
OPINION
internet of things
Contents
NEWS
In Brief
Agenda
JEC Conferences 2017
EXPERIENCE COMPOSITES
Innovations
Interview
CCEV
Symposium
BUSINESS
Outlook
Automotive
MANUFACTURING
Injection
Hybrid Structures
Robotics
Total production optimization
Company visit
FEATURED TRANSPORTATION : What share for composites in transportation?
Biocomposites
Railway
Design
Tanks
Truck
Public transportation
SOLUTIONS
Construction
Parasports
Sailing
Watersports
In the world
TECHNOLOGY
Reaction kinetics
Index
Software
Advertisers
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Back Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - NEWS
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - In Brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 9
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Agenda
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - JEC Conferences 2017
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Innovations
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 14
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Interview
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 16
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - CCEV
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Symposium
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 19
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 20
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Outlook
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 22
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 23
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Automotive
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Injection
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 27
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Hybrid Structures
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 29
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 30
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 31
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Robotics
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 33
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Total production optimization
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 35
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Company visit
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 37
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Biocomposites
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 39
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 40
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Railway
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 42
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Design
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 44
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 45
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 46
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 47
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Truck
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Public transportation
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 51
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 52
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Construction
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 54
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Parasports
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Sailing
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Watersports
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Software
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Reaction kinetics
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 60
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 61
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 62
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 63
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 64
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 65
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - Advertisers
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #107 - August/September 2016 - 67
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