By Enrico Benco – CEO at GS4C
Enrico Benco begins his presentation by introducing the innovative SME GS4C which he co-founded in 2012.
GS4C identifies itself as a supplier of sustainable solutions in the sector of composite materials, its mission is precisely to transform materials in order to recover them at the end of their life, validating and making prototypes of sustainable technologies that involve companies in case studies and projects.
The GS4C Business Model is based on Open Innovation to support large companies in the manufacturing sector, in particular marine, wind and automotive.
The technology and consultancy transfer of Sustainable Solutions in the composite materials sector, has led GS4C to become the touchstone in the sector both nationally and internationally.
Loop Mini650 was the first project presented, a sailboat made of 100% recyclable materials that demonstrates the possibility of creating zero-dump composite materials.
Loop will also be the first boat equipped with the H2Boat solution with Metal Hydride in a T-shaped keel capable of storing about 7 kWh of energy in the form of low pressure hydrogen, which can be used through a 300 W fuel cell.
The sailboat operates in one of the most difficult environments for composite materials (with exposure to UV rays and salt water), besides to the requirements of lightness and mechanical stress, the structure must bear. The project will be a test bed and a promotional vehicle for technology.
The fiber of which it is composed is the FilavaTM of the Belgian company Isomatex S.A. FilavaTM production is unique thanks to a genuine and innovative treatment of the raw material: basalt, which is enriched with various mineral additives to increase and guarantee its original mechanical and chemical properties.
Among the other projects there is also the one with Enea: it is by B.AI.i, a patented technology for the forming of metal fiber laminates in an autoclave, capable of reducing production costs and facilitating a wider industrial adoption of this technology. The solution consists of enriched basalt and aluminum to make the material sustainable and recyclable.
The result is an autoclave solution for large panels and shells obtained by alternating layers of metal and non-prepreg fibers on a mold. The composite will then be consolidated by vacuum resin transfer.
Glemould technology, on the other hand, consists of a system using glebanite, a fiberglass material obtained from the recycling of other fiberglass recovered at the end of its life, also mixed with unsaturated polyester resins. Glebanite is proposed as a recyclable alternative to medium intensity fiber panels.
Another project is the recycling of carbon fiber, through an innovative process with low energy consumption to recover clean fibers with properties aligned with the new commercial fibers obtained from PAN.
Since 2012, the team has been looking for innovative and sustainable technologies and materials that could be successfully proposed to the composites industry, contributing totally to circular economy processes and sustainable and responsible development.