CIC on the forefront to creating global biomaterials industry

January 24, 2013
Author: Martin Cash WPG Free Press

For several years now, the Composites Innovation Centre has been tinkering with using locally grown agricultural fibres to make composites as a cheaper, more sustainable material that might replace fibreglass.

It's an undeniably great idea -- using commodities such as hemp or flax, mashed up and mixed with resin, baked and then shaped into door panels for buses or fenders for agricultural equipment or interior trim for automobiles.

The CIC has been working with local industry developing all sorts of experimental products using bio-fibres and results have been good.

But the whole concept is still at the pre-commercial stage. There's no real industry and whatever supply chain currently exists is a little on the haphazard side.

But manufacturers are being pressured into developing products that don't rely on carbon fuels or that expend less energy to make.

For instance, every automobile made in Europe right now has to have 20 per cent renewable content. The trick is to find reliable products that are made from renewable raw materials.


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Winnipeg's Composites Innovation Centre is at the forefront of this new global initiative -- effectively, the creation of a whole new industry.