Composite Solutions

New epoxy resin resists flames and reduces waste


Empa researchers have developed an epoxy resin that can be repaired and recycled, in addition to being flame-retardant and mechanically strong. Potential applications range from coating for wooden flooring to composites in aerospace and railways.
Epoxy resins are tough and versatile polymers. In combination with glass or carbon fibers, they are used, for example, to manufacture components for aircraft, cars, trains, ships and wind turbines. Such epoxy-based fiber-reinforced polymers have excellent mechanical and thermal properties and are much lighter than metal. Their weakness: they are not recyclable – at least not yet.
Now Empa researchers led by Sabyasachi Gaan at the Advanced Fibers laboratory have developed an epoxy resin-based plastic that is fully recyclable, repairable and also flame retardant – all while retaining the favorable thermomechanical properties of epoxy resins. 

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