Composite materials – a multi-faceted sustainable alternative
Composites offer a lightweight and multi-faceted sustainable alternative. Not only regarding tensile strength, but from an environmental perspective as well. Lightweight solutions save energy and resources, and composites can now be produced from biomaterial.
At Swerea, we work with polymer-based composite materials which normally consist of a resin system and reinforcement material. Polyester/fibreglass and epoxy/carbon fibre are common combinations. The development of bio-based materials is progressing steadily and Swerea is one of the leading research organisations in Europe. Bio-composites are based on thermoplastic matrices combined with various bio-based natural fibres (flax, hemp, wood, cellulose).
Composites gives light constructions
Composites are used in many industries which demand lightweight, strong and environment resistant components. The aerospace and sports industries have recognised the possibilities for some time. The requirements for a lower environmental impact in terms of reduced emissions and fuel consumption has led to an increased focus on lightweight solutions within the transport industry.
Experimental and theoretical resources
Over a period of more than 25 years, Swerea has developed experimental and theoretical methods for material and process development, testing, and design and computational work. Laboratories are available to handle everything from small test samples to large structures. Among other things, the demand for rational processes has resulted in the member programme Compraser Labs in Linköping, where investments and resources were created for robotised manufacturing.