A composite window profile combining thermoset resins and flax fibers is being developed by Innobat, a French research and development company working in the green building arena. The technology was recently recognized with an Innovation Award in the bio-based materials category at the JEC Composites Show, an international event for the composites industry held in Paris in March.
Consisting of 65 percent flax fibers, the composite is currently being pultruded as a simple, square tube profile, says Michel Maugenet, Innobat president. The next step is to produce a more complex shape like a window profile, he notes, and the French company is currently looking for profile manufacturers that would be interested in partnering with it on such efforts.
The bio-based composite is seen offering higher strength than PVC or wood and thermal performance much better than aluminum. Due to the use of flax fibers, which are a natural and renewable resource, the material would score better than other alternatives in life cycle assessments, the company notes.
Window & Door, 2011-04-26.