Advanced lightweight materials for fire safety and energy efficient structures

Sandwich-structured composites are the most reliable and effective technology for weight reduction of interior panels in the transportation industry. However, the properties and manufacturing processes of sandwich composites are limited by the characteristics and mechanical properties of the lightweight core material. IMDEA Materials has developed a technology consisting of a foaming core reinforced by short glass fiber, resulting in high mechanical properties, good thermal shield and sound insulation performance (see table 1). Moreover, phenolic resin or epoxy-phenolic resin mixed with a few amount of flame retardants were used as polymer matrix and binder to endow composites excellent flame retardant performance (Fig. 1). Thus, the lightweight composites can be applied to the vehicles, railway vehicles intreriors and to building materials.

Table 1: mechanical properties, thermal shield and sound insulation of the developed materials.
Fig. 1. Flame retardant tests on the developed materials.

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