HIFIVENT

High durable and fire performing WPC for ventilated façades

Buildings are called upon to be integrated in the urban spaces, which needs aesthetic requirements of the external envelop. Moreover, the façades of buildings must be long-lasting and ensure well-being inside the building (thermal isolation, walls breathing). Nowadays major activity in the construction sector in Europe is retrofitting, representing the 42% of existing buildings and making up about 75% of the building stock in 2050. Most of these activities are linked to ageing of the façades and solving of insulation problems, where the Ventilated façades are considered as one of the most efficient systems. Current systems present disadvantages related to corrosion, environmental impact (aluminum), recyclability, size and weight (ceramic, stone…).

An environmental-friendly solution, overcoming all the mentioned drawbacks and with natural aesthetic appeal is wood, but the material lacks the necessary durability for outdoor exposition. This drawback can be addressed by new technological materials which incorporate wood in a high per cent, combining it with polymers (Wood Polymer Composites/WPCs). WPCs offer better thermal and acoustic isolation than aluminum, and better durability than wood However it can be stated that although durability is highly increased, it continues being the main problem. When using WPCs as building components another problem arising is their poor fire performance. HIFIVENT aims the development of a WPC based ventilated façade addressing the following issues:

 

  • Improve weathering properties by fibre hydrophobation and highly protective co-extruded layer.
  • Use of nanotechnology to improve mechanical and fire properties. Goal of Euroclass B-s3,d0 fire performance (halogen free systems).
  • Improve mechanical performance by using long fibres for structural parts
  • Fully recyclable system

Partners with complementary expertise work together.

 

  • 5 complementary SMEs. BAVE (DE), agricultural residues. Beologic (BE) WPC compounder. ESCANERO (SP) plastic manufacturer. UXAMA (SP) construction company, PROLABIN (IT) Flame retardant nanoparticles manufacturer.
  • 3 RTDs experts in:TECNALIA (SP) cellulosic fibres modification, processing and testing of WPCs and ventilated façade design. WKI (DE), WPCs based on long fibres. UNIPG (IT) biocomposites and nanoparticles modification.