Flax fiber reinforced thermoset sandwich as trunk load floor

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  • Lightweight thermoset sandwich reinforced with long flax fibers
  • 35% weight reduction compared to petroleum-sourced glass mat/PUR sandwich parts
  • JEC Innovation Awards winner, category: Semi-Products

Flaxpreg is a “green”, lightweight thermoset sandwich reinforced with very long flax fibers. It can be effectively used as a multi-position trunk loadfloor or structural floor in the passenger compartment of vehicles. The prepreg FlaxTapes (about 120 g/m²) that constitute the skins of the sandwich are unidirectionally-aligned flax fibers tapes, with acrylic resin in this application, easily handled without any spinning or weaving step and thus without any negative out-of-plane crimping of the almost continuous flax fibers.

Flexprag from Faurecia

Application: structural trim parts

The Flaxpreg project, developed by Faurecia with PSA Peugeot Citroën, Lineo and the University of Reims, aims to design structural trim parts following three objectives: a drastic weight reduction, the use of renewable resources and a process in line with automotive cycle times and material cost constraints.

35% weight reduction compared to petroleum-sourced glass mat/PUR sandwich structures

Due to the very low density (1.45) of the FlaxTapes, combined with their adaptive 0°/90°/0° orientation (for each skin) depending on the loading boundary conditions, the excellent mechanical properties achieved allow a 35% weight reduction compared to petroleum-sourced glass mat/PUR sandwich solutions (such as Baypreg).

When it comes to market potential, the first goal is to address the structural trunk loadfloor market, which is typically dominated by the Baypreg thermoset technology (PU + glass fibers). Other applications include package trays, door trims or seat backing and are currently being studied.

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