- Project Dates: From February 2011 to January 2015
- Project Leader: Conor O'Neill, Dr. George Kotsikos
- Staff: Prof. Geoff Gibson
- Sponsors: European Commission
- Partners: EADS Deutschland – Innovation Works, Bombardier Transportation, Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, Gemanischer Lloyd, Advanced Composites Group, Amorim Cork Composites, Transfurans Chemicals, AP&M Exportação, APC Composite, and 8 others.
FIRE-RESIST is a four-year €7.8 million initiative led by NewRail that brings together the rail, aerospace and marine industries to develop innovative solutions for improving composite material fire performance.For many applications, one of the biggest factors currently preventing the more widespread use of lightweight high-performance polymer matrix composites is their poor fire performance. This is due to the organic matrix resins, which first soften on heating, causing a loss of mechanical properties and then, at higher temperatures, decompose. Decomposition results in the production of smoke and toxic or flammable decomposition products. These products are not only hazardous in terms of lack of visibility and toxicity; they can also burn, releasing heat, which can lead to flame spread and exacerbate the fire. Furthermore, loaded composite structures often collapse in a fire within a period of minutes, depending on the magnitude of the load and heat flux.FIRE-RESIST aims to address these issues through the development of a number of novel material technologies and improved simulation capabilities. The project will conclude with the design, prototyping and testing of a number of full-scale demonstrator parts drawn from the three transport sectors to evaluate the technologies developed.