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Fire testing with the cone calorimeter

LightSURF paves the way for composites in harsh environments

The project 'Lighter through surface protection', LightSURF, aims to support a wider use of composites in demanding environments through systematic evaluation of innovative fire and erosion protection solutions.

Composites are an established enabling technology for lightweighting, particularly in the transport sectors. These materials are, however, less stable towards fire and erosion compared to metals.

In this interdisciplinary research project, various combinations of coating systems, surface treatments and coating methods are systematically tested to optimize the surface layer properties of composites, to build up a platform of competence within this important area of research.

Aim and goal

Specific industrial challenges are addressed that will lead the way in the adaption of composites in demanding enviroments, addressing the next set of issues beyond the basic mechanical performance criteria.

The goal of LightSURF is to push the boundaries of the potential of composites. Through the interdisciplinary composition of the consortium, which includes suppliers and end users from the aerospace, marine and construction industries, we want to exploit synergy effects between different branches and common challenges with the aim of generating knowledge of innovative methods and solutions for fire and erosion protection for composites.

The project is a collaboration between RISE, Chalmers, GKN Aerospace Sweden, Saab Kockums, Podcomp and Composite Design Sweden. The project is financed by Vinnova through the strategic innovation programme LIGHTer.


Project name

Lighter through surface protection



RISE role in project

Research executive and project manager

Project start


3 years

Total budget

7,1 MSEK


GKN Aerospace Sweden, Saab Kockums, Podcomp, Composite Design Sweden, Chalmers

Project website

Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
12. Responsible consumption and production