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Fibre composites and polymers in a marine environment

Fibre reinforced plastics (composites) offer light weight constructions and are therefore used in everything from boats to the blades in offshore wind power plants. Other benefits of composites over its metallic counterparts include higher design freedom and corrosion & fatigue properties.

What we do

RISE has a wide expertise within composites and polymeric materials. We perform R&D through the entire life cycle from idea to recycling. Our main areas of research are; recycling, conceptual design, processing, material development, product design, prototype manufacturing, testing and certification and simulations & optimisation. We also apply all of these general skills on marine applications. More specifically we offer the following expertises:

  • Sustainability
  • Material development (composites and polymers)
  • Design of marine composite structures 
  • Recycling (mechanical and chemical) of for instance wind power plant blades and pleasure boat hulls.
  • Degradation and durability of polymers in marine environment 
  • Prediction of life span in marine environments
  • Durability and lifetime estimation of composites
  • Micro plastics collected from the ocean
  • Fire retardants in polymers and composites
  • Mechanical testing 
  • Non-destructive testing and health monitoring 
  • Load rate dependent composite material performance (e.g. ice or bird impact on composite structures or other high strain rate situations)
  • Protype manufacturing of composite structures
  • Sandwich constructions
  • Joints and multi-material designs (e.g. composites and metals)

Tools and facilities

RISE has three composite labs that cover all relevant manufacturing methods and they are equipped with all pertinent test equipment for both destructive and non-destructive testing. We are also opening a new test bed for high volume sustainable composite manufacturing in Piteå Sweden during 2021. 

RISE also has two large polymer labs both working with material development, one is more focused on recycling and processing and the other more on mechanical properties and durability. Here we can for instance take ocean plastics and turn it into plastic compound for injection moulding or additive manufacturing. In the durability lab, we can perform accelerated testing in various conditions, such as UV, humidity, temperature, salinity etc and perform anti-fouling trials.

When it comes to simulation, we have access to a variety of different structural simulation software such as Abaqus, LS-Dyna and HyperStudy and Optistruct. For process simulations we use 3D-Timon. In addition, we also develop our own material models and subroutines for various cases such as crash-, fire- and process-simulations.


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