Supporting UK Composites

AEP Polymers and Cardolite Launch FormuLITE - A New Bio-Based Epoxy Formulation

Tram nose made by RTM light with FormuLITE resin

AEP Polymers, an innovation-based company focused on applied R&D in the field of industrial polymers and intelligent formulations from bio-based waste and byproducts has teamed up with Cardolite, a company who develop, manufacture, and promote products using cashew nutshell liquid technology.

In 2013 AEP Polymers and Cardolite initiated an industrial partnership for the development of new bio-based epoxy hardeners and modifiers, producing new materials with high performances and bio-based content up to 95%. The pre-preg grade hardeners were used by the Punch Powertrain Solar Team in Belgium for the design of their Punch One solar power vehicle that competed in the World Solar Challenge 2015, a 3000 km race in the Australian outback. This new CNSL technology is also one of the elements of the newly developed Jaguar Land Rover CARBIO body car components, that improve environmental performance, weight saving and NVH damping (noise, vibration and harshness).

For a company like AEP Polymers the opportunity to work with a partner such as Cardolite is a major advantage. “Both AEP and Cardolite share a common set of values and the goal to raise awareness of bio-based industrial performance products”, says Tom Claessen, General Manager of Cardolite Specialty Chemicals Europe. “AEP is our ideal partner, because they develop new products with a keen attention to the end user’s process and performance requirements and Cardolite is capable to give substance to AEP’s innovations, rendering them accessible to a wide range of customers”.

After almost three years of collaboration AEP Polymers and Cardolite present FormuLITE, a series of bio-based two component epoxy systems. Both the part A modified resins and the part B amine hardeners are based on components from renewable resources, with overall bio-based contents ranging from 28% to 47% by weight.

AEP says the FormuLITE systems offer low viscosity, good wetting of the reinforcements (glass, carbon and natural fibres) and extended pot-life. FormuLITE is suitable for the manufacturing of medium to large size composite parts by wet lay-up, resin transfer molding (RTM), lamination and vacuum infusion. The formulations can also be used by non professionals in DIY applications. The systems provide well balanced thermal and mechanical properties, as well as good resistance to water uptake, acid and alkali solutions.

As a valid alternative to traditional two component systems, the FormuLITE series delivers consistent performing properties with the additional advantage of sustainability. In addition, thanks to the close collaboration between AEP and Cardolite, the customers will benefit from a dedicated technical assistance and bespoke developments of the FormuLITE series based on specific technical requirements.

To learn more about FormuLITE visit Cardolite’s booth M15 in hall 5A at the JEC World in Paris, 8th to 10th March 2016 and attend the JEC technical sales presentation "FormuLITE: new high bio-content 2K epoxy systems for composites" on Thursday, March 10th at noon.



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