Inorganic Materials and Recycling

Your competent partner for developing innovative and sustainable building materials

Our area of expertise “Inorganic Materials and Recycling” is divided into two areas "Building Materials Technology" and “Processing and Recovery”, uniting our know-how in mineralogy and solid state analytics, as well as in conservation science and civil engineering. Our research focuses on the development of innovative and sustainable building materials, on processing waste concrete or rubble and on preserving the substance of historical buildings. In addition to concrete mixtures tailored to requirements and producing lightweight concrete, insulating materials and fiber-reinforced composites, we also develop cement-free building materials such as geopolymers. All concrete production processes can be performed in our building materials laboratory - from developing formulas and optimizing mixtures through to determining the properties of fresh and hardened concrete. Another key area of our work is assessing the durability of building materials (e.g. their stability on exposure to freeze-thaw cycles, alkali-silica reactions), as well as researching into physical-chemical mechanisms capable of causing damage to building materials.

 

Photo acknowledgments: © Shutterstock / Perfect Lazybones

Overview of expertise

 

Building materials

Our experts in the building materials laboratory handle all types of building materials, from lightweight and aerated concrete to plaster, bricks and cement-free materials. In order to produce innovative, recyclable building materials, we are increasingly concentrating on the use of raw materials based on organic matter and on inorganic residues from incineration processes.

 

Inorganic raw materials and recycled materials

We think holistically: The very choice of inorganic raw materials for a product determines how it will be further processed after the use phase. This means either recycling or, in the worst case, dumping in landfills.

 

Testing and analysis

In our solid-state analytics laboratory, we have a large number of different test methods at our disposal. This enables us to meet the ever-increasing demands placed on the analysis of the composition of raw materials today, as well as on the quality and durability of building materials - from the nano to the macro scale.

 

Conservation sciences

The fact that we can still learn from ancient master builders today is impressively demonstrated by our scientists: They derive chemical knowledge about durability from historical building materials, such as Roman mortars and concretes, and transfer this to develop new building materials.

 

Processing

It is not easy to recover cement from waste concrete - however, the experts at Fraunhofer IBP were already capable of achieving this as far back as in 2014: Thanks to electrodynamic fragmentation, composite materials can be separated into their individual components for further processing.