Composites and nanocomposites

Characterization of composite materials used for the rehabilitation of pipelines using cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) technology

This research line comes up due to the current interest on new composite materials used for the rehabilitation of pipelines, using no-dig technology. A cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) is a rehabilitation method used to repair existing pipelines. It is a reliable, simple, convenient, and economical method that nowadays is booming around the world. At this moment there is not an international standard for characterizing this materials. This lack of rules and the increasing interest for this application makes this research line of special interest for the LATEP. Nowadays LATEP is actively working in this area with pioneering Spanish companies to find out the composition of these materials and optimize their properties according to customer requirements.

Multifunctional composite

The main objective of this research line is the development of a new family of continuous reinforced epoxy matrix composites with multifunctional behaviour. The incorporation of carbon nanoreinforcements (carbon nanotubes, graphene, etc) into the matrix can improve the mechanical properties in thickness-direction of the baseline composite material, providing a functional behavior (electric, magnetic, etc.). There is also an interest on the research on structural health monitoring (detection of deformation or/and damage during service) of these materials using electrical measurements.

Polymer nanocomposites

The addition of nanofillers into polymeric matrices offers significant advantages to the material with a low weight gain. Nanoreinforced resins exhibit a unique combination of mechanical, thermal, chemical and electrical properties. In particular, the addition of small amounts of carbon nanotubes or graphene nanosheets allow to obtain materials with improved mechanical performance, together with high electrical conductivity and good chemical and thermal performance. Their industrial applications are numerous. The research has been focused on the use of these nanoreinforced polymers in the aerospace industry, such as matrix of composites, and as conductive adhesives for multiple industries.