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19th May 2017, The Netherlands

Lina – the bio-based car on tour

TU/Ecomotive – a student team at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands – has worked with Leuven, Belgium-based EconCore to create the lightweight chassis of Lina, billed as the world’s first car made from a combination of biobased composites and bioplastics.

The bio-based composite is made from flax and is said to have a strength/weight ratio similar to that of glass fibre. EconCore’s technology for the cost-effective, continuous production of thermoplastic honeycomb materials contributed the bioplastic honeycomb based on NatureWorks PLA. The PLA 100% biodegradable resin core is placed inbetween two flax fibre composite sheets to provide a sandwich panel effect with high stiffness and strength at minimal weight.

Biobased car design. © TU/Ecomotive

According to TU/Ecomotive, the concept has the potential to drastically reduce carbon footprint compared to other lightweight materials used in the industry.

The drivetrain of Lina is electric and power is supplied by modular battery packs to provide output of 8kW, using 2 DC motors and allowing it to reach a top speed of 80 km/h.

To complement Lina’s sustainable credentials, it is equipped with several high-tech features, including NFC technology in the doors to detect and recognize different users, which would make it highly suited for car-sharing platforms.

PLA honeycomb EconCore. © TU/Ecomotive/Leuven

Lina can be seen during the 2017 Shell Eco-marathon 2017, held in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London from May 25-28. From the 5th of June it will tour the Netherlands in an attempt to raise awareness of the sustainable issues it is seeking to address.

EconCore provides technology for the continuous production of honeycomb sandwich materials. Its fast, versatile, continuous ThermHex process allows users to produce sandwich materials for various applications including automotive, transportation, building and construction, industrial packaging/graphical displays, furniture and many other industries with minimal cost, weight and environmental impact.

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