Composite materials made of glass fibers and plastics are often used in boat building and in the production of water sports equipment (such as surfboards),.The energy-intensive production of the fibers and the plastics - most of which are petroleum-based and contain solvents – get in the way of the sustainability concept, which is becoming increasingly important in this sector. To improve sustainability in the maritime sector, Leibniz-Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe as well as the companies GREENBOATS GmbH and Swiss CMT AG are cooperating in the research project "MarineCare". The aim of the project is the development of a sustainable composite sandwich material and a corresponding minimal-waste manufacturing process for the application in boat manufacturing and for water sports equipment. The sandwich structure combines a foam core made of recycled PET, obtained from disposable bottles, with face sheets made of recycled carbon fibers (rCF) and a thermosetting, bio-based epoxy resin. So far, vacuum infusion processes are mainly used in boat manufacturing, which require a significant amount of single-use auxiliary materials (e.g. inflow pipes, distribution media and valves) for the resin distribution. To minimize waste, an alternative manufacturing process is being developed, in which the rCF-textiles will be pre-impregnated with the resin in powder-form. The resulting semi-finished products are subsequently placed to a near-net shape preform and then finally impregnated and consolidated in a vacuum-based process. The periphery for resin distribution is eliminated and the danger of incomplete impregnation is reduced.
Within the scope of the project, Leibniz-Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe, a research institution with over 30 years of process engineering and design expertise, is responsible for the development of the semi-finished textile products as well as the impregnation and curing process. In cooperation with the project partners Swiss CMT AG, which is responsible for the development of the bio-based epoxy resin powder, and GREENBOATS GmbH, whose expertise includes sustainable boat building, a kitesurfing board with foil will be manufactured as a demonstrator.
The Eurostars project „MarineCare– Sustainable Composites from Recycled Carbon Fiber and Bio-based Powder Resin for Marine Applications” is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research
M.Sc. Jan Janzen
Wiss. Mitarbeiter Imprägnier- & Preformtechnologien
Leibniz-Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe GmbH
Telefon: +49 631 2017-461