Hankuk Carbon partners with Forward Engineering to conduct Top Down LCA of its Carbon Fibre Prepreg

South Korea / UK / Germany, March 16th 2022

Ahead of most of its competitors, Hankuk Carbon announces today it has finished the first stage of life cycle assessment (LCA) for its carbon fiber prepreg, in order to quantify the CO₂ emissions of its materials and find solutions for a more sustainable future.

In various applications composite materials contribute to sustainability and reduce through-life carbon impact by enabling the manufacture of complex lightweight structural applications in cars, aircraft and wind-turbines, leading to longer life-cycles and less use of fossil fuels during the use phase. Upcoming recycling technologies will allow to use these materials to be effectively recovered for multiple life-cycles.

Critics can point out the higher embodied energy of carbon fibre without considering the end applications of composite materials. Efficient application designs utilising composites enable lower energy usage in the use phase and this is often significantly higher than the energy used in the manufacturing phase, especially if materials are recyclable. Hankuk Carbon has worked with Forward Engineering GmbH (Germany), a third-party expert consultant company who use the internationally recognised ISO 14040/44/67 standard as the baseline for their calculation, to conduct an overall first analysis of the carbon footprint of carbon-epoxy prepreg from cradle-to-gate.  This gave Hankuk Carbon the opportunity to identify opportunities to improve sustainability in processing and to create an action plan to do so.

Looking ahead, Hankuk Carbon plans to conduct a more detailed LCA for its carbon fibre prepreg as well as liaise with its raw material suppliers and end customers to help appraise and reduce not only its own carbon footprint, but the overall footprint in its materials and applications. Furthermore, Hankuk Carbon is looking into forming strategic partnerships with carbon re-cycling companies to facilitate collaboration between its end customers across the supply chain to further reduce carbon footprint of composite components.

 

About Hankuk Carbon

Hankuk Carbon is the largest producer of composite intermediates in the South Korea. With over 35 years’ experience of manufacturing composite Prepregs and multi-functional laminated systems, Hankuk Carbon delivers a wide range of innovative, multi-functional ‘Composite, All at once’ solutions for Automotive, Aerospace, Energy, Shipbuilding, Construction, Sports and Defence industries.

Hankuk Composite UK has been part of the Hankuk Carbon Group since 2020 and represents the business across Europe, with applications engineering and sales support. The move comes as part of a commitment from Hankuk Carbon to strengthen links with automotive OEMs in Europe, and to develop deeper connections with sports, leisure and industrial markets.

 

About Forward Engineering

Forward Engineering (FE) is a Global Engineering and Consulting Firm based in Munich, Germany with offices and representation in Japan, China and the US, that specialize in holistic and sustainable product development employing the latest proven and emerging materials and manufacturing process technologies.

Glass composite material for EV battery case

Hankuk Carbon has developed an Epoxy Glass Prepreg, with fast curing resin (4 mins / 150℃) dedicated to mass production. Therefore, it is possible to apply prepreg compression molding (PCM) technology that uses the press method. Moreover it turns out that this material is suitable for all the components using sheet molding methods. Particularly, the material is suitable for producing EV battery case that requires flame retardancy with the UL-94 V0 Grade. Specifically, it can be applied to battery cover as well as to the lower part tray of battery where high mechanical properties are required. In addition, it features similar mechanical properties as carbon fabric and lowcost material compared to carbon fabric