Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) is a composite material composed of a polymer matrix and reinforcing fibers. As a result of its high specific strength and stiffness, it is suitable for a diverse range of applications in the construction industry, for example as a reinforcing component in wooden structures or as an outer shell for lightweight sandwich elements. We develop fiber-reinforced polymers with application-specific properties.
Depending on the application, we utilize thermoset polymers (e.g. epoxy and polyester) or thermoplastic polymers (e.g. polyethylene, polypropylene). For both polymers and reinforcing fibers, our focus is centered on renewable raw materials. We develop fiber-reinforced polymers with bio-based polymers and replace glass and carbon fibers with vegetable and mineral fibers, for example from flax or basalt. We are also conducting research into hybrid solutions in which, for example, two or more fiber types are combined in order to achieve a balanced relationship between mechanical properties, costs and environmental compatibility for the specific application case.
Furthermore, we are also pursuing other approaches in order to specifically improve the performance capabilities of fiber-reinforced polymers. These include the modification of the polymer matrix through the use of additives. We blend-in various types of nanoparticles and test the properties of the fiber-reinforced polymers produced therefrom.