Plastics from plants are established in vehicle interiors, including aircraft, and food and drink packaging. Our stress bearing application is an advance on current practice. This is changing.  Our chosen flax/epoxy is used by Stuttgart University in wind turbine blades. This is a complex high stress and environmental attack application and supports our choice of this material.

Our first design is an original and innovative motorcycle chassis made from flax fibre and epoxy resin bio composite, comparable in performance to carbon/epoxy, at lower financial and environmental cost. The chassis forms a single stressed structure, including seat, tank and other parts not stressed in conventional designs, incorporating storage. We have contracted a university to digitise our chassis to guide material performance requirements.

Adventure touring, dual sport, bikes are our first products, the most buoyant market in the UK and global luxury markets, a profitable first product that will establish profile as a producer of robust bikes able to survive in remote areas without roads or back up.  Hybrid and battery are both under investigation. Development will increase the proportion of in house components made from bio materials. Air and elastomer suspension and engine casings are early candidates.  Matti Holzberg of Carbon Castings, Florida, has four decades experience of successful plastic IC engines. He has demonstrated practical carbon fibre engine blocks and crankcases, in fact, most IC engine components other than the combustion chamber. Laminate bonding of metals, ceramics and heat resistant materials to composites makes increasing high temperature, high stress, applications possible. Components for electric powertrains are lower temperature than IC, making bio composites realistic developments.

Support and service directly from the factory is through wireless contact to embedded sensors streaming data on structural, mechanical and electronic performance, as well as visual, audio and digital contact with the user and his environment, all in real time. The technology is as available, cheap and simple as a smart phone.

Later production bikes will be robust, lightweight, low cost, high load capacity, designed to survive demanding off road environments with low maintenance requirements and low carbon whole life assessed costs. Simple and established engineering for both vehicles permits concentration on materials development, including:

  • Stress bearing structural plastics for the chassis, suspension and power train
  • High hysteresis elastomers as self damping springing media
  • High temperature and wear resistant materials incorporated in a low temperature internal combustion power train, using proven technology
  • Non-pneumatic tyres
  • Roller drive chains

Feedstocks

Development will produce carbon negative bioplastics competitive with metals and fossil fuel plastics in price, performance and ecological, social, cultural, economic, resource and land use sustainability, from sources non-competing with food production, delivering strategic independence from oil producing nations and fossil sources.

Markets

Prime markets include pro-poor urban, rural and agricultural transport, health service delivery in remote areas, ballistic resistant military applications and leisure use.