FIREMAT is meant to overcome the main technological limits arising from the application of polymeric matrix composites (PMCs), that derive from their low resistance to temperature, combined with their non-recyclability. On the other hand, ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), which boast excellent thermal resistance, are too expensive and time-spending to produce.
FIREMAT will develop new materials and processes, focusing on their integration into multi-material solutions, and on the engineering and development of design methodologies aimed to fulfill a smart-production. In addition, the project will study the sustainability and environmental impact of the designed materials; the reduction of production times and production/maintenance costs; the minimization of production defects and the consequent increase in production quality; the patentability and go-to-market strategy. The TRL 4/5 already acquired about fire resistant PMC within the EEE-CFCC project (eee-cfcc.it) will be implemented at TRL 6 by improving the formulations, realizing specific pilot lines and full-scale prototypes.
Goals and activities
The project’s goals are:
- the reinforcing of the Emilia-Romagna composite materials sector, overcoming the current working temperature limits of polymer-based fiber-reinforced composites;
- the promotion of circular local economies by developing recyclable materials, exploiting secondary raw materials use. FIREMAT aims at supporting the industrial partners, realizing real scale demonstrators to prove their industrial feasibility.
FIREMAT carries on existing collaborations, started in previous project EEE-CFCC.
The activity plan includes 5 phases, aiming at developing the new fire-resistant composites, optimising the production processes and semifinished materials, developing real scale demonstrators to be qualified and aged in the expected operating conditions.
Scientific and industrial partners will agree about the target characteristics and demonstrators (chosen among heat shields, exhaust pipes, insulating panels), and will enquire about their possible scale-up at industrial level. The materials will be characterized in terms of thermomechanical, thermophysical and durability properties, they will be tested in the expected working conditions and following accelerated aging protocols in order to improve and adapt the component design to the characteristics of the new materials. Along with the R&D activity, FIREMAT will set up an IPR policy and carry out know-how protection actions. The project communication and results dissemination activity will be realized from beginning to the end of the project.
Phase 1: Composite based on basalt fibers and preceramic matrix
Coordinator – ENEA TEMAF.
Phase 2: Composite based on carbon fibers and inorganic polymer matrix
Coordinator – ISTEC.
Phase 3: Materials characterization in expected working conditions
Coordinator – CertiMaC.
Phase 4: Materials engineering and component modeling
Coordinator – MUSP.
Phase 5: Target definition, Go-to-market strategy, IPR management
Coordinator – ENEA TEMAF.
Dissemination Activity: Coordinator – Romagna Tech
FIREMAT will realize and implement on a real scale two macro-types of heat-resistant materials.
1 – Fire-resistant polymeric matrix composites reinforced with basalt fibers, aiming at the highest recyclability possible, up to the ‘cradle-to-cradle’ reuse (that is for the orginal application).
These fire-resistant PMC will be engineered in multi-material solutions for structural or thermal insulating applications (e.g. substitution of metals in aeronautics and ventilated facades).
2 – Thermal barriers, with working temperatures up to 800° C (depending on the composition) also functionalized with ultra-refractory compounds. An eco-sustainable composite, based on a nanostructured refractory matrix produced from inorganic resins will be designed, reinforced with long or short carbon fibers or felts.
The long fiber composites will be used as heat shields for racing, transport (Curti’s helicopter in particular). The composites from C-short fiber (secondary raw material from PMC recycling), will be targeted at thermal insulation.