Behaviour of composite materials under estreme conditions: high temperature

IMAST members involved:

  • Alenia Aermacchi S.p.A.
  • CIRA S.c.p.A. – Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali
  • CRF S.c.p.A - Centro Ricerche FIAT
  • Adler Plastics S.p.A.
  • CYTEC Italy s.r.l.
  • CNR – Istituto per i Polimeri, Compositi e Biomateriali (IPCB)
  • CETENA S.p.A.
  • Università degli studi di Napoli Federico II - Dipartimento di Ingegneria Chimica (DIC)


This research project aimed to investigate flame resistance and/or fumes toxicity properties of lightened components and/or structures in which weight reduction has been obtained through the replacement of traditional materials with advanced composite materials.
To this purpose, new polymeric materials/composites and new thermo-mechanical and chemical models have been developed to predict the behaviour of these materials under significant fire conditions. In order to validate the results obtained within this project, a number of demonstrators has be designed, realized and tested. Moreover, new experimental test have been proposed aimed to overcoming the limitations of standard experimental tests for non-conventional materials.
In this project, five demonstrators have been realized in the automotive, aeronautical, aerospace and naval sectors.
In the automotive sector, a lightened fuel tank filler neck has be realized with low combustion speed (7.2mm/min), improved electrical properties and weight reduction (38%). Moreover, a fuel line has been realized with increased flame resistance (2.5 min) and electrical conductivity.
In the naval sector, a bulkhead made up of composite and non-conventional materials has been realized to comply maritime fire rules.
In the aerospace sector, an ablative tile made up of composite materials for ballistic atmospheric re-entry has been produced with improved ablative features (ablation of 6% in thickness).
In the aeronautical frame, a lining subsystem representative of the interiors of a regional aircraft has been realized by polymeric fiber-reinforced composite materials, compliant with aeronautical fire rules and with reduced weight (10% respect allumininum solution).