Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MadFlex (Double face foldable composite material for disruptive applications – MADly strong, Super FLEX)
Reporting period: 2018-12-01 to 2019-05-31
Composite Sandwiches are a special class of composite materials fabricated with a combination of fiber reinforced panel skins and a low-density inner core, combining structural performance to lightweight, which are increasingly used in construction, automotive, aerospace, wind energy, sport and leisure sectors. The market is valued USD 1.6 billions with a CAGR of 8% in the next 5 years. One of the main drawbacks of this class of materials consist in their stiffness and difficulty in joining together different parts, which imply the need to produce monolithic components, increasing enormously costs and complexity of realization, transport and mounting. CoRe has developed and patented MadFlex: an innovative composite sandwich design and production process, which makes the panel flexible (even rollable) on the one side and rigid/crushproof on the other, at comparable cost and with the same production facilities. The feasibility study allowed to validate the technical feasibility selecting and analysing the use cases to be implemented and tested in aerospace and construction, identifying specs and functionalities, defining material design and production process to optimize timing and costs. In addition, the business opportunity was analysed by defining the business model, selecting the manufacturers for the future production for the first applications. The market was analysed and the Business Plan and Implementation Plan to reach the market was defined.
Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far
The activities carried out during the feasibility study include: 1) Use cases analysis: The industrial sectors in which the unique value proposition of MadFlex can be exploited have been analyzed, evaluating for each the potential applications, the business model option, certifications requirements and time to market. 2) Product fit analysis and manufacturing: four products were defined for future standardization and for each of them the production process, costs and potential manufacturing partnership with composites manufacturers were defined. The certifications and the reference standards to follow were identified. 3) Customer validation: the key advantages granted by using MF in each application were outlined. 4) Business Model and pricing: currently CoRe operates as an R&D company, working on key proof-of-concept (PoC) “engineered products” in specific applications. CoRe aims to shift in the near future to the “standard product” business model, selling a number of standardised MadFlex solutions which can be offered on the market in the form of rolls as semi-finished products. 5) Market analysis and Business Plan: the composite sandwich market was analysed, specifically for the building, aerospace, transportation and consumables (sport and healthcare) segments. Specific focus to the first 2 applications allowed to quantify the Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM). The Business Plan for the market deployment of MF was defined.
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)
MadFlex can replace standard composites where flexibility can be a keystone to simplify storage, transport and mounting or can substitute flexible polymeric materials, adding structural performance to lightness. CoRe has already attracted a great interest from many potential customers in different sectors, i.e. buildings and architecture, automotive, sport and healthcare.