Mini 6.50 Arkema 3 - Any old plastic?

Arkema and Lalou Multi unveil one of the major innovations of their brand new Mini 6.50 Arkema 3 “Innovation” prototype sailboat. The hull and the bridge of this 6.5 m boat were made entirely from a recyclable thermoplastic composite, thanks to the Elium® resin, infused with carbon fibre.

A genuine technological feat in boat building, this boat is the fruit of the open innovation venture set up between Arkema, a world chemicals major, and Lalou Multi - TPE run by Lalou Roucayrol and specialising in ocean racing.

Elium® is the first liquid thermoplastic resin to be used to manufacture composite parts. It is processed using straightforward methods identical to those used for thermoset resins, and features mechanical properties that are similar to epoxy resins. Its thermoplastic nature makes the Elium® resin post-formable and recyclable.

• 30 to 50% lighter than steel and just as tough

• Lends itself to complex designs and shapes

• Can be perfectly combined with fibreglass or carbon fibre.

Daniel Lebouvier, Technical Coordinator of the project at Arkema:

“This is a liquid thermoplastic acrylic resin. It is processed in the same way as the resins traditionally used in boat building, and features all their mechanical properties, but is recyclable unlike those resins. This means that end-of-life parts made from this resin can be ground and reused to manufacture new parts."

"This is an answer to the major issue of the treatment of end-of-life composites. Arkema is the first company to be marketing a resin of this type, and the mini 6.50 Arkema 3 “Innovation” will be the first boat built with this type of resin to be sailing the oceans.”

Quentin Vlamynck (23) joined the Lalou Multi team in 2012, at the time of the construction of Lalou Roucayrol’s trimaran. A member of the Multi50 sailing team, Quentin had the backing of Lalou and Arkema to take part in the 2015 Mini Transat Les Iles de Guadeloupe on board the Mini 6.50 series Arkema 2.

An ambitious, well-organised and hard-working young man, Quentin has been deeply involved in the design and the construction of the Mini 6.50 Arkema 3 “Innovation”. In late April 2016, thrill-seeker Quentin will take the helm solo of this small jewel of technology!

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