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MATERIALS FOR THE ECOLOGICAL TRANSITION
The activities of the Mat'éco team aim to contribute to the development of materials and technologies that are more respectful of the environment and favour the ecological and energy transition towards a sustainable development of the industrial and transport sectors. The aim is to contribute to the objective of carbon neutrality of the continent by 2050 in order to limit global warming and climate change.
Mat'éco's expertise and activities focus on new generations of sustainable high-performance composite materials and on materials and systems for hydrogen storage. In addition to the usual organic matrix and continuous reinforcement composites, the team is focusing on reinforcements from annual plants and biosourced polymer matrices. The interest in these materials lies both in the high mechanical performances they present and in the low environmental impact that can be obtained thanks to their recyclable and/or renewable character.
In the field of energy applications, in particular hydrogen storage, the team's work concerns the study of the thermomechanical behavior of materials used as storage media, such as intermetallics forming reversible hydrides, or structural materials, constituting the envelope of the storage tank, including more traditional composite materials (glass and carbon fibers, epoxy resin), but also polymeric and metallic materials and their behavior under complex stresses
One of the originalities and strengths of the team lies in the diversity and complementarity of the skills and tools developed at the scales investigated (from micro to structural) to achieve these ambitions.
Goals and Research Areas
The Mat'éco team has two main research axes.
- Mechanical behavior and durability of biosourced composite materials.
Mat'éco has a recognized expertise on the characterization and modeling of the thermo-hygro-mechanical behavior of biosourced composite materials and their constituents (plant fibers from annual plants, biosourced polymers, wood and hybrid materials). The objective is to massify the use of renewable and recyclable materials, from local agricultural and forestry resources in order to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions related to the processes of materials development. The studied behaviors integrate viscoelasticity, damage, mechanisms at the origin of stiffening phenomena as well as thermo-hygro-mechanical couplings. At each scale, the links between the elaboration/transformation processes, the structure, the resulting properties and the service life are studied. The experimental approach feeds the modeling of the various behaviors and phenomena studied at the relevant scales, and under controlled hygro- and hydro-thermal conditions. Mat'éco develops original experimental devices, multi-scale homogenization approaches, micromechanical tools and phenomenological formulations with a strong physical content implemented in finite element codes. The long term objective is to contribute to the development of tools to assist in the design of reliable, low environmental footprint, economically competitive plant fiber composite structures and to increase their function density.
- Materials and structures for hydrogen storage.
Mat'éco also invests in the field of hydrogen storage in compressed and solid form. The Mat'éco team studies the behavior and the multiphysics modeling of the materials used in the storage solutions by integrating the severe character of the solicitations induced by the high pressures but also the hydrogen element. The work aims to promote the deployment of the energy carrier that is hydrogen: by providing a better understanding of the mechanisms of deterioration of materials used in hyperbaric solutions, from the watertight polymer envelope to the structural reinforcement in composite materials, but also by investigating the phenomena associated with the formation of metal hydrides, such as phase changes, decrepitation, mechanical results on the tanks In addition to the development of low-carbon solutions, the work also provides answers to the challenge of deployment and public acceptance by considering the safety of hyperbaric solutions or the supply of resources, or even their recyclability.
The team strives to carry out both numerical work, through analytical modelling, by finite elements or discrete elements, and experimental work, through equipment specific to the hydrogen environment and internal developments.
The activities are based on three main pillars of expertise:
- Material behavior, taking into account specific couplings (thermal, hydric, chemical ...), with a long-standing expertise on organic matrix composites
- Physical and numerical modeling
- Experimental characterization including the development of original devices
The originality of the activities carried out by the Mat'éco team lies mainly in the innovative experimental techniques and tools developed as well as in the theoretical approaches used to characterize and model the complex behaviors in severe environments, expressed by these biosourced materials and these materials dedicated to hydrogen storage.
Implementing our work
The activities of the team have allowed to build many collaborations within Femto-st as well as on the regional, national and international territory. The team is involved in many collaborative research projects:
- SSUCHY - Sustainable Structural and Multifunctional Biocomposites from Hybrid Natural Fibers and bio based polymers. BBI JU (2017-2022, 7.41 M€, www.ssuchy.eu
- NETFIB - Valorization of fibres from nettle grown on marginal lands in an agro forestry cropping system -Era-NET (SUSCROP) (2019-2023, https://www.suscrop.eu/projects-first-call/netfib)
- CAVHYTATION - Etude du phénomène de cavitation dans les matériaux des réservoirs d’hydrogène comprimé haute pression - EUR-EIPHI/Région Bourgogne Franche-Comté (2021-2024)
- WooFHi - Wood/natural Fiber High homogeneity/performance composite - I-SITE BFC (2021-2024)