Recycling compatible use of fibre composites in civil engineering in new doctoral school at ITA

Recycling compatible use of fibre composites in civil engineering in new doctoral school at ITA

Recycling-compatible use of fibre composites in civil engineering – launch of the doctoral school “VERBUND.NRW” at ITA Aachen, Germany

In October the doctoral school “VERBUND.NRW” (German: Fortschrittskolleg) started (funded by a new North Rhine-Westphalia support programme). In this programme, eleven doctoral candidates of institutes at RWTH Aachen University and the FH Münster work together interdisciplinary to develop the entire value chain of composite materials in civil engineering.

In recent years, big markets for composite materials and composite constructions have emerged in the building sector. Examples include textile reinforced concrete, thermal insulation systems, carbon and glass fibre reinforced elements and smart wall systems. Apart from the social significance of the building sector (in the context of affordable, sufficient and adaptable housing), this sector consumes a big part of resources. In Germany yearly 60 % of the resource consumption, 35 % of the energy consumption as well as 50 % of the waste production can be attributed to the building sector.

Structure and network of institutes of the doctoral school VERBUND.NRW_source ITA

To fulfil diverse and complex requirements (such as multifunctionality, design, weight, cost etc.) of many technical concepts, composite materials increasingly are the means of choice. The programme focuses on the areas development/production, construction/processing, utilisation/disposal, and deconstruction/recycling of fibre composite materials for building applications. The research topics cover technological and ecological as well as economic and sociological issues.

At ITA, the Institute of Textile Technology of RWTH Aachen University the field of construction/processing is investigated. The usage of composite materials can lead to significant resource savings: especially if recyclability is already considered during the design of the materials. Recovered composite materials are thus meant to be made reusable. At ITA, requirements for this purpose, regarding separability for recycling, are investigated.  Solutions for the production of composites are developed which allow the achievement of those requirements from scratch. Demonstrators are used to validate secondary materials in comparison to primary materials. The solutions are also evaluated from an economic perspective.

ITA, the Institut für Textiltechnik (Institute for Textile Technology) belongs to the elite university RWTH Aachen. Its core expertise consists of textile related production technologies and high performance materials. With the opening of the Centre for High Performance Materials in December 2012, ITA offers small and medium sized companies direct access to scientific research especially in the fields of high modulus fibres and composites. ITA provides research and development services and advanced training and creative workshops in cooperation with its partner company ITA Technologietransfer GmbH. Furthermore, ITA graduates students in various textile related courses.

Started in winter semester 2015/2016, ITA is offering the new international Master degree ‘M.Sc. in Textile Engineering’ in cooperation with RWTH International Academy.

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