The many advantages of fibre reinforced composites such as lightweight, high strength and anti-corrosion properties are highly appreciated and increasingly applied in aerospace, automotive, buildings, windmills and sporting goods.
Transport and building applications require excellent flame retardant properties to meet the strictest EU regulations. In spite of their many advantages most composites are highly flammable. Therefore, a good flame retardant performance is one of the biggest challenges to be met to enable a widespread use of these materials in the transport and construction sectors.
At the same time, there is a tendency to produce more sustainable composites by using recycled fibres or natural fibres. In the field of matrix materials, benzoxazines and biobased epoxies are interesting resins to be used in the production of sustainable composite materials. These epoxies are partially made from renewable materials. Benzoxazines release less heat and no volatiles during the curing step, which makes them safer to handle. Furthermore, these resins have good mechanical properties, they are flame retardant and it is possible to prepare biobased variants.
The aim of the project is to develop sustainable fibre reinforced composites that meet the flame retardancy requirements of the transport and construction sectors, meaning that the materials are difficult to ignite, have no burning droplets and have low smoke densities and toxicities.
This will be achieved by combining commercially available sustainable fibre reinforcements such as basalt fabrics, natural fibre based fabrics and recycled carbon nonwovens with benzoxazine resins and biobased epoxy resins containing flame retardant additives.
The project also aims at the following innovations in:
- Resin formulations: adding viscosity modifiers, wetting agents & adding FR additives to secure a good impregnation and FR properties
- Fibre treatments to enable a good matrix/fibre interaction (i.e. improving the compatibility between fibre and matrix)
- Finding suitable composite manufacturing methods
- Production of basalt nonwovens as textile reinforcements
- Research partners: Centexbel (B), STFI (DE) and IVW (DE)
- The target group includes companies from the composite manufacturing sector, chemical suppliers, textile industry, OEMs active in transport or building