Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

We have created the first buckypapers manufacturing plant in Europe


A material with differentiating characteristics and huge and disruptive potential in structures and components for the transport sector

Along with SISTEPLANT, we have developed the first European buckypapers continuous manufacturing plant, sheets made up of carbon, based on a safe-by-design concept. The carbon nanotubes have extraordinary mechanical, thermal and electric properties. This makes it an excellent material for a wide range of industrial sectors, focusing initially on the aeronautical and automotive sectors.

Cost reduction

The industrialisation of products based on carbon nanotubes presents diverse difficulties associated with the performance variability of the nanomaterials in their manufacturing and integration processes. Their production is expensive so the cost reduction through the optimisation and industrial scaling of the manufacturing process is a challenge to be overcome.

The manufacture of buckypapers is very limited today in Europe and it is produced at research laboratory level. Worldwide production is led by companies in the USA and Japan. This initiative contributes to boosting the industrialisation of this product in Europe in order to take the leap from the laboratory to the factory.

TECNALIA has designed and built the buckypapers pilot plant at its facilities in San Sebastian. The factory, which is already operational, is the only one of these characteristics in Europe, changing from static manufacture, as had been the case up to now, to continuously producing the material in a roll format without any stoppages.

In this way, it has gone from manufacturing 0.5 m2 a week to rolls with a capacity of up to 50m2. With the development of the process on an industrial scale, these materials are being supplied to diverse companies, who are currently testing them.

At present, TECNALIA is working with OEMs and TIERS, companies belonging to sectors such as transport, construction and energy. We are developing business cases in which the integration and/or use of buckypapers in composites will enable applications to be obtained, such as prefabricated panels, with the capacity to store energy in buildingsrepair of aircraft composite parts with buckypapers as resistive heating elements; boxes for light batteries, that do not heat up or, side panels of buses with sensor capacity, fire resistance and greater thermal insulation.

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Parque Científico y Tecnológico de Gipuzkoa. Mikeletegi Pasealekua, 2. E-20009 Donostia - San Sebastián. Gipuzkoa (Spain). Tel.: 902.760.000 - International Calls: (+34) 946.430.850