Saint-Gobain Ceramics - The fiber of innovation !
Together with a renowned German institute, Saint-Gobain is preparing the industrial production of continuous ceramic fibers. By opening up ceramic materials to new uses, they could play a key role in the ecological transition
While not exactly a household name, they are the focus of immense expectations. Ceramic oxide fibers are indeed capable of making ceramic materials multifunctional.
The combination of fibers and a matrix gives these materials a very high thermo-mechanical resistance and other properties such as thermal and electrical insulation, corrosion resistance... while being extremely light.
These materials are called Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC). They are intended for applications subject to very strong thermo-mechanical constraints in industrial furnaces, high efficiency gas turbines, aeronautics, space objects or high technologies. These composite materials therefore have a major role to play in the ecological transition and their demand should, in the next few years, experience very strong growth.
CREATING A EUROPEAN ECOSYSTEM
In Germany, the DITF Institute – Die Deutschen Institute für Textil und Faserforschung Denkendorf – has been investigating the properties of composite materials for thirty years.
Its research has earned it a worldwide reputation. The co-development initiated between this Institute and Saint-Gobain aims at creating an industrial demonstrator to produce continuous ceramic fibers. This will be the first step before investing in a European manufacturing line.
A three-year collaboration program was officially launched on December 20 in Denkendorf, in the presence of Yves Boussant-Roux, R&D Director of Ceramic Materials, and Nicolas Miègeville, CEO of the Ceramics BU. “We were very impressed by the DITF's facilities," he explains. “Over the next few months, we will be working together to check the relevance of this project, both technically and economically. The goal is to start building the demonstrator in 2023. We have already established contacts with potential customers and co-financiers. On a European scale, we need to create a whole ecosystem. With two leaders like DITF and Saint-Gobain, this innovation project has every chance of breaking through in a high-growth market !