VIDEO: Boat Building with a Recyclable Composite

Published on March 9th, 2016

On the strength of its experience with the Multi50, Arkema pursues its sailing endeavors with the construction of a Mini 6.50 monohull. The hull and the bridge of this 6.5 m boat were made entirely from a recyclable thermoplastic composite, thanks to the Elium® resin, infused with carbon fibre.

A genuine technological feat in boat building, this boat is the fruit of the open innovation venture set up between Arkema, a world chemicals major, and Lalou Multi – TPE run by skipper Lalou Roucayrol and specialising in ocean racing.

Daniel Lebouvier, Technical Coordinator of the project at Arkema: “This is a liquid thermoplastic acrylic resin. It is processed in the same way as the resins traditionally used in boat building, and features all their mechanical properties, but is recyclable unlike those resins. This means that end-of-life parts made from this resin can be ground and reused to manufacture new parts. This is an answer to the major issue of the treatment of end-of-life composites. Arkema is the first company to be marketing a resin of this type, and the mini 6.50 Arkema 3 “Innovation” will be the first boat built with this type of resin to be sailing the oceans.”

The collaboration between Arkema and Lalou Multi, also called “open innovation”, driven by a quest for innovation and technological development, has never been so tangible. Following the developments brought in to the Arkema Multi 50 trimaran since 2012, a veritable showcase of the products and know-how of this global chemicals group, the construction of a Mini 6.50 prototype is now highly consistent with this approach.

Fabienne Roucayrol, Project Manager at Lalou Multi: “As part of discussions on the 2014-18 partnership with Arkema, and mindful of further developing the Group’s products, Lalou Multi put forward the construction of a new boat, the objective being that this Mini 6.50 should be a showcase for Arkema products as well as our know-how in their processing, in particular with this new innovative resin. Following R&D work over eighteen months and countless processing tests, we hit upon the right recipe in December 2015. The hull and the bridge of this new boat are made entirely from the Elium® recyclable composite resin! This major innovation complements the many innovations introduced in the boat itself by architect Romaric Neyhousser.”

Video published on Mar 8, 2016.

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