Development of composite lightweight materials with upgraded physicochemical functionality and improved economic feasibility (LiComPerl)
The project is funded by the Greek Ministry of Development and Investments within the Action “Research – Create – Innovate” of the platform NSRF PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT 2014-2020 originating from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) of the European Union
In the recent years, research has been focused on materials with superior physicochemical functionality, such as multifunctional and intelligent materials for energy applications, nanomaterials that modify physical stimuli, adsorb or prevent adsorption of chemicals, and so on. Although the results of research are particularly encouraging, their use in commercial end products is not always feasible, especially in “traditional” industries, due to the high cost of the proposed application. Indicatively, nanomaterials form aggregates that limit the activity of these materials, workability and therefore the economics of their final application.
One solution is the creation of composite materials, that is, suitable substrates either coated with the polyfunctional materials or impregnated therein, which exhibit improved physicochemical functionality and therefore economics. In these materials, the substrate must have particular characteristics to promote the maintenance of the physico-chemical performance of the coating and thus the economics of the final product proposed. The substrate must be mechanically durable, have good adhesion to the coating and facilitate its functionality. At the same time, the coating or impregnation technique should ensure uniform distribution of the multifunctional material to the substrate without agglomerates, good adhesion over time but also the economy of the whole process in terms of time, consumption of raw materials and energy.
The objective of the present proposal is to acquire know-how on the development of coated lightweight materials by applying innovative coating techniques, which can be applied to a variety of materials and applications. Expanded perlite substrates of different particle size distributions with adapted properties will be studied to improve the physical and chemical properties of the coating, physicochemical reactions, and ultimately maximize the economic benefit. Different sizes include coarse, medium and fine fractions.
Emphasis will be placed on the ultra-fine fractions, which are found in most applications of high added value, from construction materials (photocatalytic mortars and dyes), chemical processes to cosmetics. The materials to be used as coatings will have various physicochemical characteristics, e.g. inorganic and / or organic, photocatalytic, nano-materials, etc. With the application of the innovative coating technique these composite materials will have upgraded physicochemical performance and improved economics.
The research will be based on the following stages:
Study of perlite expansion to achieve lightweight grain with tailor made physical characteristics (particle size, loose bulk density, hardness, open or closed porosity) that promotes the functionality of the coating.
Study of coating creation by employing an innovative technique to optimize its physical characteristics, % coating and good adhesion
Analysis of the performance of the composite materials produced, Value-to-Client Analysis and extraction of conclusions regarding the performance and economy of the best finished products.