A. Group of Pilot Lines

This group includes three clusters of Pilot Lines for the upscaling of multifunctional lightweight materials and structures that are available for open access by the clients of the ecosystem.

I. Concrete processing Pilot Lines:

PL 1. Smart lightweight concrete and components Pilot Line in NTUA facilities targets in the production of in situ and pre-casting concrete formulations with enhanced properties and multi-functionalities, integrating CNT, MWCNT, expanded perlite and nano metakaolin aiming to high-performance infrastructures (bridges, roads, and tunnels) as well as RMC.

PL 2. Cellular lightweight Concrete Pilot Line, based in RISE, focus on the design and production of multifunctional lightweight elements, such as building facades, sandwich panels, and walls.

II. Conventional Ceramics cluster of Pilot Lines:

PL 3. Pilot Line for pressed ceramics of ITC-AICE is producing conventional ceramics (for wall and floor tiles) through pressing, with lightweight properties however maintaining their mechanical strength and abrasive resistance.

PL 4. Extruded lightweight ceramics Pilot Line of THN is dedicated to the production of lightweight extruded structures with enhanced insulation properties, such as bricks and tubular parts.

III. Advanced Ceramics group of Pilot Lines:

PL5. Spark plasma sintering Pilot Line: Ceramic based lightweight composites are produced through Spark plasma sintering (SPS) and powder metallurgy processes in the INOP facilities. The pilot are dedicated to high performance ceramic composites (mainly Al2O3, SiC, mullite, C/SiC, Ti-SiC, ZrO2 or BN) with improved hardness, durability and abrasion resistance with end application in the automotive or aerospace industry, where low weight is directly related to fuel savings and operational autonomy.

Process monitoring and control: Process control systems customized for each Pilot Line will be integrated by Stam, using a user-friendly control system, assuring the remotely supervised control and the continuous and safe run of the processes. Quality control and monitoring processes are firstly demonstrated in lab environment, then subjected to a step-by-step validation protocol, to be developed within the project, to ensure reliable and repeatable on-line quality measurements. Pilot Lines are also be subjected to modifications, including ultrasonic mixing and advanced agitation technologies, targeting to enhance uniformity of dispersion, and avoid agglomerations of NPs aiming to the adoption of a large variety of lightweight multifunctional products.

B. Characterisation Group

Standardised methods will be applied for the characterisation of materials and structures developed, according to appropriate EN, DIN, ISO and ASTM standards. A network of partners will collaborate in order to result in fast characterisation workflows, for the determination of process parameters (e.g. rheological properties, flowability and workability), mechanical testing (bending, compression, strength and durability), physical properties (density, porosity), thermal analysis (thermal shock, Hygrothermal properties, fire resistance), as well as surface abrasion, frost resistance, chemical resistance, self-sensing, and photocatalytic activity, wherever appropriate. Moreover, non-destructive techniques (NDTs) will be used in order to perform real field test of the integrity of the developed structures. Some of the partners of this Group are members in the European Materials Characterization Council (EMCC) thus will build on collaboration.

C. Modelling Group

The Modelling Group focuses on process modelling and simulation through the development of holistic models of each of the processes through the multi-scale modelling of materials and unitary operations. Moreover, predictive modelling at different levels will be implemented to generate a chain of models that lead to full-scale simulation of real structures, to evaluate the overall performances of the solutions at a global level. Micro-, meso- and continuum models will be developed for this purpose. In addition, targeting to process optimisation, the model will be the basis for the implementation of the optimisation strategy. A multidisciplinary design optimisation (MDO) approach will be used to carry out the optimisation of the process parameters attending to material performance, environmental and economic criteria. After the implementation of the model, it can be used as a simulation tool to replicate the target process in different industrial landscapes and scenarios. Therefore, the developed model can be used as a decision support tool to help to define the business plan and the marketability for the target development. Already the partners that will work towards this are leading members in the European Materials Modelling Council (EMMC) and will ensure the high collaboration and compliance.

D. Standardisation, Regulatory & Safety Assessment Group

Standardisation and regulatory compliance are key issues for further exploitation and commercialisation of innovations. The harmonisation of the new materials or products with dedicated standards, including Eurocodes (for constructions), ISO 10545, standard EN 14411 (for tiles) and standards developed under ISO TC 163 (for thermal performance and fire resistance) and TC 89 (for the building physical performance of components), as well as with relevant regulatory framework will be addressed. All testing will be in alignment with international standards (CEN, ISO, ASTM, etc.) and regulatory framework aiming to develop products towards EU standards.
A safe-by-design perspective will be followed, promoting safe practices during production and installation (pilot lines and industrial scale) especially taking into account the handling and use of nanomaterials, and supporting the test cases/clients on the development of safer and sustainable processes by conducting a risk assessment (on the occupational health & safety and environmental point of view), environmental impact (life cycle analysis), life cycle cost and ecoefficiency assessment studies.

E. Data management group (DMG)

DMG designs and implements a solid Plan for the collection, storage, exploitation and the evaluation of the data, through the establishment of an Open Innovation Environment (OIE). Openness, accessibility to beneficiaries and reusability of the produced Data are also be ensured by the Data Management Plan. Data sharing and data usage is be maximised taking into consideration Data Security and Privacy as well as GDPR compliance. Communication and data sharing between partners is achieved through a platform designed for this purpose, where data generated from disparate sources will be combined into meaningful and valuable information (Data Mapping).

F. Innovation Management (IM) Group

The project provides a wide range of services that will be enabled by the LightCoce platform ensuring a smooth connection of different stakeholders within an ecosystem with the ultimate goal to foster innovation in the area of materials, namely: Research institutes/Universities, Large Enterprises, SMEs, Start-ups/New ventures, Industrial Associations or Groupings, Banks, Funds/Investors, Public Bodies and Owners of Infrastructures. A catalogue of services will be defined (technical and non-technical) to support material technology adoption by industry and end users. The innovation services are open access under specific fees to all parties and will include development of business model, marketability assessment, suggesting the technology to enable the value proposition, embodying the technology in a product/service in favour of the user, ensuring the proper protection of the IP developed and identifying the funding opportunities offered through additional public funding at local or EU scale, as well as investment funds. Moreover, a dissemination plan is already designed to reach the largest audience possible and to inform EU stakeholders about the LightCoce project’s objectives, services and results.