Developing Novel Fire-Resistant High Performance C.. (FIRE-RESIST)
Developing Novel Fire-Resistant High Performance Composites
Start date: Feb 1, 2011,
End date: Jan 31, 2015
The greater use of polymer matrix composite materials would be highly desirable. Their low weight, along with their inherent resistance to corrosion and fatigue, enables more fuel efficient and sustainable transport structures. However, for many applications, the biggest factor currently preventing the more widespread use of light high-performance polymer matrix composites is their poor fire performance. This is due to the organic matrices, which first soften on heating, causing a loss of mechanical properties and then, at higher temperatures, decompose. Decomposition results in the production of smoke and toxic or flammable decomposition products. These products are not only hazardous in terms of lack of visibility and toxicity; they can also burn, releasing heat, which can lead to flame spread and exacerbate the fire. Furthermore, loaded composite structures often collapse in a fire within a period of minutes, depending on the magnitude of the load and heat flux. The overall aim of the project is to develop novel, cost-effective, high-performance, lightweight polymer matrix composites with a step-change improvement in fire behaviour. FIRE-RESIST will achieve this by carefully targeted research in five key areas: 1. Micro-layered structural materials that are designed to delaminate extensively when exposed to heat, thereby generating a multiplicity of internal interfaces that provide a fire barrier of exceptionally low thermal conductivity. 2. Hybrid thermoset composites that are polymeric at normal temperature, but which decompose under fire to provide highly protective ceramic char phases. 3. High char polymer matrix composites derived from sustainable, naturally-sourced materials. 4. The commingling of particle-doped polymer fibres and conventional fibre reinforcements for the highly efficient dispersion of fire retarding particles within a composite. 5. Advanced multi-scale simulation of loaded polymer matrix composite structures in fire.
Get Access to the 1st Network for European Cooperation