Wind turbines or aircraft wings will soon de-ice themselves in extreme conditions, or floors and walls could contain built-in heating, due to the EU-funded research project PANIPLAST.
France-based manufacturer STILZ Chimie, a subsidiary of research company RESCOLL, has been backed by the EU as part of its Industrial Leadership pillar under the Horizon 2020 framework programme to support innovation in SMEs. The researchers at STILZ Chimie, led by Magali Clavé-Henry, are working on new heating systems based on special polymers.
These polymers conduct electricity so that heat is generated when a voltage is applied. Their advantage is that they can be incorporated into paints or resins and made into ultra-flexible thin films that can be combined into numerous materials, applications and products – including self-heating clothing.
Clavé-Henry said: “We have developed a conductive polymer technology we call PANIPLAST. Our technology is about how to synthesise these conductive polymers and achieve the right conductivity level.
“The technology of synthesising these polymers is quite mature now, but we have improved it so that we can make 100% organic polymers, which are highly conductive, have better stability and flexibility, and are safe to use.
“Our current project is looking into the markets we can target, prioritising the most promising and identifying what resources would be needed to go into production at STILZ Chimie.”
It is expected that in the four years following the project, STILZ Chimie will achieve an annual turnover of €12.24m across the construction, wind power and composites markets of, reaching production volumes of 275 tonnes of PANIPLAST polymers and formulated products each year.