Participation in research project Roof Breath

Thrace Polyfilms S.A., member of Thrace Group, participates in funded research project “Roof-Breath” with title: “Industrial development of breathable roofing membranes by nanostructure incorporation in polyolefin films.

The project objective is to develop breathable films comprising a polypropylene (PP) and/or polyethylene (PE) matrix and specific carbon nanomaterials. This new composite material will offer an advanced alternative with improved performance/cost ratio to existing standard membranes made from stretched PP/calcium carbonate (CaCO3) composites. Physical and chemical properties of the nanocarbon filler material will enable tailoring of the gas and water vapor permeability leading to its applicability as selective membrane for a multitude of industrial applications, such as filter systems, packaging and construction roofing membranes, the latter of which is the focus in this project. Incorporation of modified nanocarbon species during the manufacturing process aims at replacing partially CaCO3, and eliminating the cost intensive, additional step of uniaxial/biaxial film stretching. Achievement of the project objectives will be accomplished via design of nanocarbon filler properties by exploiting structure (SWCNT, MWCNT, Graphene, multilayer "Graphene"), chemistry (functional surface groups influencing hydrophilicity and dispersability) and architecture (orientation within the matrix influencing mechanical properties and water/gas transport mechanisms). With close liaison between research institutes and compounding experts a seamless knowledge transfer will be established to ensure optimised supply of lab scale composite material. Developed membranes will be fully characterized and subjected to all mandatory tests and protocols as required for product certification. In addition, the safety and sustainability aspects of developed films will be analysed. The participating industrial partners are producers of either intermediate compounds or final products (roof membranes), hence the transfer of project findings to innovative improved products stands on solid ground.