The project ‘Development of eco-friendly composite materials based on geopolymer matrix and reinforced with waste fibers’ (project no. ELAC2015/T02-0721) is financed under the ERANet-LAC: Latin America, Caribbean and European Union funded by the European Commission, within the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technology Development (FP7), Topic #02: Waste management, recycling and urban mining. The project is an answer for a specific challenge connected with waste management, recycling and urban mining. The main objective of the project is to prepare a broad spectra of advanced and progressive new fibre-based materials for construction industry with high potential of commercial utilization, especially development of composite materials from waste natural fibres such as: animals and vegetables, for replacing the traditional construction materials.
The project is divided into 5 thematically connected tasks (WP) that will be made by universities from EU and CELAC countries. The consortium members are:
- Cracow University of Technology (Poland), leader (Poland),
- Omer Halisdemir University (Turkey),
- Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru (Peru),
- Riga Technical University (Latvia),
- Babes-Bolyai University (Romania),
- Catholic University of Uruguay Damas Antonio Larrañaga (Uruguay),
- University of Mar del Plata (Argentina),
- Polytechnic University of Timişoara (Romania).
The main advantages of the project are complexity material and network. The specific objectives are:
- Preparation of the theoretical concept for the new composites, analysis and optimization of the structure and mechanical properties and performance of designed composite materials and assessment of their materials for selected applications (WP1).
- The selection of most suitable waste fibres added to the hydrothermally alkalized fly ash in order to improve its properties (WP2)
- Analysis and optimization using computer methods of the structure and mechanical properties of composites and the assessment of their ability to be used the construction materials (WP3)
- Comparison between the new composites and the traditional materials in regard of their properties in laboratory (WP4)
- Preparation of solutions and testing prototype components in lab as well as in relevant environment and comparison between the new composites and the traditional materials in regard of their properties in varying environmental conditions. (WP5)
The main result will be development of minimum 5 new, eco-friendly composite materials from waste natural (animal, vegetable or mineral) fibers, for replacing the traditional construction materials, especially those based on the polymer matrix and synthetic fibers, with new ones containing bio-based matrices and fiber derived from waste, for instance making a composite material from wastes from flax, bio-waste straw, nut shells, hen feathers, waste from mineral wool production and other organic waste materials.
The project will have potential impact to specific group such as researchers, companies, the other interested organization (non-profit organization, especially focused on environmental issues), the policy making institution and whole society (improving human live thanks to waste utilization). The results of the project are of interesting mostly for companies (because economic benefits), but some of them can be potentially interesting for government institutions planning to increase pro-ecological activities and trough this also for whole society.