The patent pending new material has been designed as a replacement for printed circuit boards (PCBs) and received a first JEC Innovation Award at JEC World in Paris this March.
The primary ingredient of Soluboard is FlaxTape, a patented tape consisting of unidirectional flax fibres with a lower density than carbon and glass fibres.
The unidirectional orientation of the flax fibres means they can be efficiently arranged to form the multilayer bio-composite structure of Soluboard giving the material strong mechanical properties.
FlaxTape is also ideal for manufacturing lightweight products with improved mechanical properties and a lower environmental impact.
The majority of current PCBs have insulating layers made of a standard glass fibre and epoxy resins composite material called FR-4.
As a direct replacement for FR-4, with the same price and improved sustainability, Soluboard could serve to lower the impact from Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) and the carbon footprint generated by electronic and electrical products.
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With nearly 45 million tons produced in 2018, WEEE is now the fastest growing waste stream in the world.
The replacement of FR-4 with Soluboard could also help increase the yields of precious metal recovery from PCB recycling, since dissolving a circuit board made with it allows for 90% of its components to be reclaimed and then either repurposed or recycled in a much more efficient process.
This would provide improved incentives for electronics manufacturers to internalise their recycling initiatives.
Jiva Materials is a London-based start-up questioning today’s manufacturing methods through material science and via the use of naturally derived products, attempting to rebuild these industries from the bottom up.
Following its takeover by the French Cap Seine group (now known as NatUp) in February 2017, EcoTechnilin, based in Valliquerville, France, is poised to accelerate the adoption of natural fibre-based nonwoven composites by the automotive industry and other key sectors.
Cap Seine is a major agricultural cooperative dealing in plant-based products such as flax and hemp, grains seed, plant protection technology and fertilizers based in Mont-Saint-Aignan, France.
As such, it is providing the financial backing for a new investment drive that will bring benefits to many of its members in the bast fibre supply chain.
Published on insidecomposites.com