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Open-access infrastructure for the production of multi-functional nanocomposites


CO-PILOT was a three-year Horizon 2020 (H2020) project, led by TNO, which took place from January 2015 to December 2017.

The CO-PILOT project aimed to develop an open access infrastructure for SMEs interested in the production of high quality (multi-)functional nanocomposites on a pilot scale.

The infrastructure will be prepared for access by SMEs beyond the duration of the project, and will be able to produce typically 20 to 100 kg nanocomposite product, characterise it, and validate its performance. This is sufficient to make management decisions to progress to the next step of new nanocomposite product development.

CO-PILOT also has as its aimed to:

  • set new standards for high-quality nanoparticle production with the assistance of in-line nanoparticle dispersion quality monitoring;
  • develop a centrifuge module to address the adequate and automated down-stream processing of the nanoparticle dispersions;
  • test and validate the pilot line infrastructure.

Based on the consultation of SME nanocomposite producers, CO-PILOT chose the following range of industrial nanocomposite applications to focus on: flame and smoke inhibiting polymer materials (layered double hydroxides); acid scavenging used as anti-corrosion and in polymer stabilisation (layered hydroxides); heat isolating plastics (hollow/porous silica); light-weight flame inhibiting composites (layered hydroxides combined with hollow/porous silica); UV protective polymer coatings (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide); high refractive index, visually transparent polymer (titanium dioxide); low-refractive index polymer (hollow/porous silica); anti-glare polymer coatings (hollow/porous silica), and; magnetic recoverable catalyst nano-composite beads (magnetite).

SAFENANO have undertaken a series of safety assessments, including exposure monitoring, to ensure safe and responsible development and operation of the pilot-line infrastructure. The assessments were used to inform approaches to implementing pragmatic risk management measures and identify pertinent issues for standardisation.

For further information on CO-PILOT, please visit the project website or contact us.

Did you know?

MWCNT-7 is classified by IARC as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ (Group 2B).