Natural fibers and eco-sustainable resins (for nautical sector)

Founded in 2013, AEP is an independent SME focused on industrial R&D in the field of bio-based polymers and formulations, with application in polyurethanes (rigid and flexible PU foams, compact PU, coatings and adhesives), epoxy resins and fibre-reinforced composites, thermoplastics and a wide variety of functionalized building blocks. The company’s expertise is mainly concentrated in organic chemistry and polymer science. Once designed and synthesized the new molecules, the AEP’s researchers benchmark them in industrial formulations against commercial products, to quantify their performance advantages. The synthetic processes are then optimized, upscaled and characterized at TRL=5 before transferring the recipes to pilot and industrial production.


rComposite is made out of three main components: vegetable fibers, resin and polyurethane. The challenge for Northern Light Composites was to determine how the resin distributes into the material


Thanks to the measurements by X-ray microCT, a morphological characterization as well as identification of inhomogeneities were accomplished. These details, together with a chemical characterization by FTIR imaging, are very useful for identifying important tips for the optimization of the composite preparation.