Aeronix Technologies, which supplies vacuum infusion processing materials, equipment and technical support to the UK composites industry, is launching a new range of carbon neutral consumable products. The range of fabrics, films, meshes, tubing and fittings are manufactured from different types of plastics, opening up more sustainable options for the disposal of consumable products. This challenging, proactive initiative by Aeronix Technologies is an industry first for the UK composites market to help reduce CO2 emissions.
The launch of an alternative choice of carbon neutral consumables is the first stage of a ‘Sustainable Industry’ program that will be rolled out by Aeronix Technologies over the next 12 months. The business has a clear long term goal to transform harmful practices that negatively impact the environment, especially those contributing towards climate change.
The strong motivation for the Aeronix Technologies founding directors to invest so much time and resources to create this Sustainable Industry program stems from an awareness and growing concern about the escalating global climate change crisis due to continued high levels of global CO2 emissions. The business believes it is essential that these practices change to prevent further escalation of global warming and its potentially devastating impact on the planet and mankind. This initiative offers individuals and companies in the composites sector a way to change what they do today and proactively reduce their carbon footprint to avoid cataclysmic global events escalating due to unchecked global warming.
The new range of carbon neutral composites consumables for vacuum infusion (VI), vacuum assisted resin transfer moulding (VARTM) and prepreg laminating includes:
- Vacuum bagging films
- Infusion resin flow meshes
- Vacuum breather fabrics
- Release films
- Peel plies
- Plastic infusion tubing, spiral wrap and associated fittings
Carbon neutrality is achieved for the new environmentally friendly consumables range by a combination of improved sourcing and manufacture with the lowest carbon footprint currently possible, and offsetting the balance to be net zero. The calculated remaining carbon footprint for the range is being offset through earning ‘carbon credits’ per tonne of CO2 from contributing to carbon offset projects. Aeronix Technologies has chosen four Carbon Offset projects active in different parts of the world focused on: clean oceans; afforestation (new forest creation); hydropower; biomass.
An independent study commissioned by Aeronix Technologies investigated and calculated the carbon emissions (in kg CO₂/ 100 sq. m or kg of material) for each of the peel plies, plastic fabrics, textiles, vacuum bags, release films and plastic fitting products used by composites moulders. A +10% offset value safety margin allowance for each product type is being used by Aeronix Technologies to ensure sufficient offsetting to be net zero.
Andrew Edge, who was appointed Commercial Director for Aeronix Technologies back in September 2021, has been extensively involved in the development of the specifications for the new range of lower carbon emission consumables for the sustainable industry project and setting up toll manufactured suppliers.
Data from the commissioned carbon report has been used to calculate the scale of the CO2 emissions from very large composite constructions. The amount of consumables typically needed to manufacture the prepreg deck for a 100M superyacht produced an offset value of 13,495 kg CO2. A similar calculation for a single resin infused 100M wind turbine blade came to a staggering 14,674 kg CO2 of offset needed to be net zero.
Andrew commented: “Having worked in the composites industry for more than 17 years designing and building race boats, superyachts and then wind turbine blades, I have seen first-hand the amount of waste generated when manufacturing large scale 50M+ composite hulls, decks and blades. Our carbon emission study has quantified what that equates to in terms of the carbon footprint and the impact on the planet. We want our customers to leverage our work on this initiative to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Looking forward, Aeronix Technologies aims to continue the development of new product innovations with even lower emissions, ideally as part of a circular economy, with the goal to reduce the amount of offset needed to offer carbon neutral products.