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Development of high performance and durable cement mortar composites reinforced with vegetable fiber nonwovens for applications in ventilated façades

Total activity: 12
Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
Funding entity code
108.900,00 €
Start date
End date
To improve the efficiency of the building sector it becomes necessary on the one hand to develop more environmentally-friendly and high
performance building materials and, on the other hand to develop new constructive solutions to reduce the energy consumption of the
Nowadays, the most used constructive solutions of building envelopes are the ventilated façade systems, which have continuity between
the thermic and impermeable envelopes, avoiding thermal bridges and consequently avoiding the energy loss and the presence of water
vapor condensations. This envelope should fulfill some requirements as strength, flexibility, ductility, lightness, permeability, thermal
insulation and durability. In this sense, it is of practical importance to develop new materials for this application with the maximum
characteristics aforementioned, primarily strength, ductility, flexibility and durability, using environmentally friendly and low cost raw
materials and processes.
The overall objective of this project focuses on developing composite materials based on Portland cement matrix reinforced with vegetable
fiber nonwovens, with high performance, high durability, sustainable and with competitive price for applications in panels for ventilated
Apart from the common Portland cement, the white Portland cement will be used as binder in order to increase the aesthetic and functional
properties of the panels. To improve the durability of the composites (limited by the presence of calcium hydroxide on the matrix which
degrades the vegetable fibers), several pozzolanic additions as silica fume, metakaolin and coal mining waste (CMW) will be studied.
Moreover, the application of different surface treatments on the nonwovens will be considered to enhance their stability in humid
environment. Flax fibers will be selected as reinforcement due to their good specific properties and their interest and economic impact on
the agricultural sector.
The project will be approached from a multidisciplinary perspective, including three well defined research lines: 1) the development of
nonwoven reinforcing structures optimized to render the maximum mechanical reinforcement, to provide good impregnation with the
cement based matrix and to improve their stability to wet-dry cycling; 2) the optimization of the composition of the Portland cement
matrices to increase the matrix strength together with the elimination of the calcium hydroxide by pozzolanic reaction and the optimum
fluidity of the cement paste to have a good infiltration throw the matrix and 3) the preparation and characterization of composites that could
be applied on panels for ventilated façades. Always using the maximum content of renewable, recyclable and low cost materials and lowenergy processes.
The results will help to develop new building materials based on renewable resources, with low waste generation and that, applied on
panels of ventilated façades, will contribute to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings.
Adm. Estat
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2013-2016
Call year
Funcding program
Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad
Funding call
Retos de Investigación: Proyectos de I+D+i
Grant institution
Gobierno De España. Ministerio De Economía Y Competitividad, Mineco


Scientific and technological production

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