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This website provides public information about BIOFIBROCAR project co-funded by EU's FP7 Research for SMEs under contract

Number 315479.

Official start date of the project was 1st January 2013 with a duration of 30 months


The automotive sector currently generates large volumes of solid waste particularly at the end of the vehicle's life. This makes the substitution of different plastic textile components for others that are more environmentally friendly one of the ways in which the industry is trying to reduce its environmental impact as well as adding new value-adding functionalities to new products.

This initiative aims to develop much more environmentally-friendly materials, with new properties that can be used in textile components to add value but at the same time meet all current safety legislation with respect to odour and volatile particle emissions for vehicle interior components.

The efforts will therefore be principally directed at the use of greener materials that have greater recyclability. New synthetic Polylactic acid-based textile fibers will be developed from renewable resources. To these will be added substances that will greatly improve the material's resistance to abrasion, odour absorption and fireproofing.

Project Objectives:

The main objective of the research project is to manufacture textile substrates (woven or non-woven) for vehicle interiors from renewable resource-based synthetic fibres from Polylactic Acid derivatives that can be used as a substitute for the polyester fibres that are currently used. These biofibres must fulfil the same requirements that the fibres used at the moment including thermal resistance.

The growing importance of environmental aspects in recent years, coupled with greater public awareness, is driving the development of new yarns and textile structures from within the textile industry.

The possibility of using fibres from renewable resources and which are also easily biodegradable will be useful for the vehicle interior textile industry, both from the point of view of the strict new recycling regulations that these products must meet and the properties offered by this type of fibre.

Potential Market:

On the one hand, it is undeniably true that the automotive industry must use environmentally-friendly products that aid sustainability: this includes fewer components, weight reductions, reduced energy consumption, alternative fuel sources, and the development and use of biomaterials. Aspects such as recycling or reuse become key factors to be implemented in product development.

An average car uses approximately 40 to 50 m2 of fabric, which weighs an estimated 9 to 10 kg. Textile fibers are incorporated into many components such as the tires, seat belts, hoses, interior panels, upholstery, sandwich panels for passive safety and impact absorption, composites and many others.

On the other hand, the European Textiles and Clothing industry has a longstanding tradition of leadership in terms of innovation, fashion and creativity, and despite increasingly fierce global competition and significant relocation of manufacturing to low-wage countries; it continues to represent one of Europe's major industrial sectors with an annual turnover of 215 billion Euro, with a total of approximately 200,000 companies in the enlarged EU, of which some 95% are SMEs.

Specific Objectives and Radical Innovation

The innovation's key points of both industries should be directed to maintain competitive positions in the area of technical products and technical applications, always with a high added-value. Innovation is achieved with research efforts focused on:

Improved recyclability of the different components that make up a vehicle, substituting polyester or polyamide for biodegradable PLA.

The development of new textiles for the car industry with improved fireproofing properties by the addition of expansion additives that improve fireproofing and therefore the safety of the vehicles.

The application of new added value for different textile components using new additives on the fibers that have been developed. The additivation of certain compounds on the polymer chains used in the manufacture of the synthetic fibers may be one of the ways to reduce or eliminate odors' in vehicle interiors which are provoked by certain elements within a vehicle.

The use of new bicomponent core/sheath textile fibers in textiles for the car industry that will improve abrasion resistance through the additivation of relatively cheap nanoparticles in the sheath.

The development of a biocompound with the same properties as the polyesters currently used on fiber applications.

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