Repairing existing buildings is a constantly growing market. Composite lamellae with carbon fibers are often used for reinforcement and repair of building structures. Such lamellae usually have a carbon fibre content of 70%. However, the energy consumption and costs of carbon fibers are high compared to other technical fibers (e.g. glass). Moreover, these materials are difficult to recycle at the end of their lifetime.
At Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe (IVW), new composite lamella with improved eco-efficiency and energy balance are currently being researched in collaboration with project partners. In the study, carbon fibers are replaced by more sustainable basalt fibers and are embedded in a durable, damage-tolerant thermoset matrix with very good mechanical properties (Figure 1). There is a systematic material development on the macro and micro scale. Within the compound, the new resin system holds the fibers permanently together. Nano-structured resin systems achieve high polymer toughness and an improved bonding between matrix and basalt fibers (Figure 2). The good bonding of the matrix to the fibers ensures high material integrity as well as chemical resistance and thus longevity in order to meet the special requirement profile for the slats and thus their connection to the renovated building material (e.g. concrete).
The project’s key issue is the sizing of the fibers which ensures a covalent bond between fibers and polymer matrix and thus enables a permanent load transfer in the composite. New technologies are integrated into the manufacturing process of the slats, which ensure lower energy consumption.
The project “BFKcraft – Development of a Basalt Fiber Reinforced Composite Structure as Concrete Paving for Static Building Renovation“ is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag (funding reference 03ET1653D).
Dr. Emmanuel Akpan
Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe GmbH
Telephone: +49 631 2017 347