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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NANOLEAP (“Nanocomposite for building constructions and civil infraestructures: European network pilot production line to promote industrial application cases.”)

NANOLEAP Report Summary

Project ID: 646397
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NANOLEAP (“Nanocomposite for building constructions and civil infraestructures: European network pilot production line to promote industrial application cases.”)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2015-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

NANOLEAP project brings together a European Network of pilot production facilities focused on scaling up nanocomposite synthesis and processing methods. This Network of pilot plants properly equipped and skilled will be available to companies active across the European Construction value chain and for new players who are considering entering the market. Thus, through this focus on a near-industrial scale, NANOLEAP project will effectively support manufacturing SMEs in the implementation of research results for the development of innovative products and processes.

NANOLEAP project aims at the development of a coordinated network of specialized pilot lines for the production of nanocomposite based products for different civil infrastructure and building applications.
The goal of this infrastructure is to support the research activities of European SMEs in the Construction sector in nanocomposite products enabling the progress of the product to next steps of technology deployment such as installation of industrial lines and enter in the commercialization stage.

In order to enable these pilot plants offering a suitable service aligned with the needs of the industry (particularly SMEs) some different and complementary strategies are proposed in NANOLEAP:
1. A suitable pre-treatment or functionalisation of nanoparticles or nano-aggregates depending on the intended use , to ensure optimal compantibility with the matrix and avoid dispersion problems
2. Work on technical solutions for the efficient embedding of nanoparticles into the different matrices employing in situ techniques which leads to larger productions
3. Improvement of nanocomposite production processes in terms of production volume and cost reduction through the proper integration of control systems at the nano-scale (i.e.measurement of degree of dispersion, interfacial properties and mechanical behaviour at the nano level) to avoid problems in operation with nano-components.
4. Promoting safe-by-design approaches in nanoparticles measurement, detection, and characterization in gas and liquids, complex media and at workplace and use this knowledge for occupational, consumer and environmental exposure measurements, confinement barriers efficiency testing, personal protective and equipement effiency testing

For the creation of the network, ten pilot plants dealing with the most promising applications of polymeric nanocomposites in the construction and engineering sector have been selected. This project will support these pilot lines for the scaling up and production of these nanocomposite based products in order to facilitate their further adoption by the entire construction chain:
• Coated nanoparticles with improved compatibility with the matrix providing a wide range of functionalities and leading to high quality products and important saves of energy when processed.
• Antiweathering and anticorrosion nanocomposite coatings for the protection of structures exposed to aggressive environments such as wind turbines, offshore, marine infrastructure.
• Multifunctional polymeric nanocomposites providing environmental resistance (antimicrobial, UV protection) and smart applications to traditional construction materials such as concrete and coatings including self-cleaning, hydrophobicity, early warning crack and water leak alarm.
• Prefab lightweight elements such as aerogels mechanically reinforced with nanoparticles for high-thermal insulation applications in building.
The governing structure for the Open Pilot lines network (legal, financial, technical management) will be set during the project to guarantee the success of the operation of the Network. Moreover, an “open call for tenders” targeted to SMEs will be launched during the project to validate and demonstrate the concept of “Open Access” and to step forward further collaboration after the end of EU financial support. The idea of this open call is to deploy a set of use cases where SMEs external

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The work performed until now is related to the objectives defined in the proposal. Until now the following deliverables completed are the following ones:

Deliverable 9.4 (M06). Project logo, leaflets and website

Deliverable 1.1 (M06). Quality assurance and risk management plan

Deliverable 3.1 (M06). Adaptation of ICP reaction Chamber for graphene sheets with possibility to adapt the monitoring tools

Deliverable 9.9 (M06). Project Impact Assessment v1.0. An Initial Project Impact Assessment

Deliverable 8.1 (M09). Report on use of commercially available software for LCA and on methodology and templates developed to collect sensitive data (input and output flows) for the models and the inventory

Deliverable 2.1 (M12). Governance and administrative structure of ENNCPP

Deliverable 3.2 (M12). Sample of graphene sheets for comparison with comercial product

Deliverable 4.2 (M12). Evaluation of pilot plant and identification of optimizations steps

Deliverable 5.2 (M12). Imprinted nanocomposite film with superhydrophobic & self-cleaning properties

Deliverable 6.1 (M12). Synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials-based aerogels at lab scale

Deliverable 9.2 (M12). Preliminary business model

Consequently, the following main results can be listed (which will be deeply described in part B of the technical report):

- Coordination of administrative activities, supervision of legal, contractual, legal, financial an administrative management and maintenance of communication with the Commission and each partner.
- Dissemination of activities in different meetings (EURONanoforum 2015) was performed.
- A project logo (which is included as an image), a model of leaflet and a specific website, where the main internal information of the NANOLEAP consortium that must be disseminated is continously uploaded, have been designed and created.
- A quality assurance and risk management plan has been validated.
- A chamber for the manufacture of graphene sheets by the ICP technique has been adapted for monitoring purposes. Sample of graphene sheets were compared to those commercially supplied.
- An initial project impact assessment has been defined. In addition, the structure of the different committees that configures NANOLEAP was confirmed whereas the rules for making dissemination activities were also defined.
- A report on the capability of the commercially available software for Life Cycle Analysis was discussed.
- The governance and the administrative structure of the European Network of Nanocomposites Pilot Plants (ENNCPP) were established. Different committees and boards were defined in order to effectively promote this network and its future interaction with third parties. In addition, the mission and the principal services to be offered to potential costumers were defined.
- Evaluation of pilot lines and identification of optimization steps were completed.
- Properties of imprinted nanocomposite film with superhydrophobic & self-cleaning were listed.
- The synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials-based aerogels at lab scale was discussed.
- A preliminary business model of each of the pilot lines were finally performed

In addition, other tasks not delivered at M12 have been developed:

- It has been demonstrated that the spray drying is a suitable technology for the production of nanoparticles aggregates.
- Pilot plants have been organized, consolidated and integrated through process efficiencies, specific outputs of nanomaterials and coatings for industrial applications.
- The lacquering unit has been finally installed. The continuous nanocoating of glass fiber surfaces has been successfully scaled up. The freeze-drying has been also mounted and successfully operated for the manufacture of aerogels. A novel silica aerogel product reinforced with graphene nanoparticles has been developed. A contribution of two partners for the analysis and improvement of the fluid dynamics in the silica aerogel pilot linen has been pr

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

"Impacts set out in the work program:

• A European eco-system for high TRL testing and validation of nano-composites, affordable and accessible for SMEs, through technical collaboration between RTOs and composite producers and through identification of all critical value chain players for the market introduction of the final product. NANOLEAP integrates a complementary network of pilot plans specialized in the development, testing and production of the latest innovations and most promising applications of nanocomposites for the construction and engineering sector. The NANOLEAP network enables the seamless collaboration between industry and research sector by setting an open framework with the adequate economic, legal and technical characteristics to allow the adoption of innovations and new developments by the SMEs. Pilot plans involved in the project are in a high stage of development. The proposed research for the pilot plans will allow, at the end of the project, the testing and validation of close to market (i.e TRL 7-8) innovative products.

• Enabling of investment decisions for market introduction of novel, cost-effective, safe and sustainable nano-enabled products that demonstrate superior performance in terms of multifunctionality and sustainability, e.g. in the packaging, textiles, transport, energy, electronics and construction sectors. Technological and innovative SMEs face big challenges linked to technical and economic constraints and for the development of novel products and processes. NANOLEAP project aims to bridge this gap by offering an innovative business model based on a win to win strategy, for the RTOs owners of the pilot plants interested in their exploitation and the SMEs aiming at testing and developing new products to improve their competitiveness without big investments and risks.

• Demonstrated scaling-up and increased degree of automation of nanocomposites production lines/processes, leading to higher production volumes, improved reliability and repeatability of produced nanocomposites and lower production cost; availability of new or significantly improved "fit for purpose" tools for integration in those lines. Improved control strategies coupled with a better dispersion quality control and lower production cost will allow the industrialization of the nanocomposite production.

• Contribution to standardisation in the nano metrology field for fast product and process design. Development of up to date property measurements and data collection, as well as advanced characterisation techniques for nanometrology: this will be performed involving National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) and the European Association of National Metrology Institutes. This work will feed the European Metrology Research Programme supporting the progress in nanocomposite metrology.

• Promoting safe-by-design approaches in collaboration with the EU nano-safety cluster and contributing towards the framework of EU nanosafety and regulatory strategies. NANOLEAP will produce guidelines for production, use and handling of nanopowders and nanocomposites as well as risk minimization procedures. These guidelines will be produced on the basis of European Directives, documents, committees for prevention and cautions. Dedicated training session in Safety will be done on the pilot plants of the Network. Additionally, guidelines and risk minimization procedures will be published and shared with a broad audience; i.e. NanoSafetyCluster, EU-FP7, H2020 and National projects as well as international harmonization activities. Close cooperation with the Nanosafety Cluster will be established along the project. As some consortium partners (e.g CEA) are members of the cluster, this will facilitate a smoother collaboration and participation in the technical working groups.

Policy framework

NANOLEAP project targets one of the cross six Key Enabling Technologies, Nanotechnology.Pilot production activities aim at transforming prototype"

Related information

Record Number: 186632 / Last updated on: 2016-07-14