Sustainable Materials


Sustainable materials such as bioconcrete, 3D-printed wood and biopolymers offer promising promising alternatives to conventional materials. However, due to their novelty, there is a lack of information about their long-term behavior. To gain insights into this behavior, we accelerate the natural ageing process of several years to a few months or weeks through specific selected and increased loads.

These accelerated ageing processes require a realistic ageing plan, detailed material analysis and suitable modeling to provide reliable estimates of the expected performance and service life of the materials and products. In the Lab4ALT (Laboratory for accelerated liftetime/degradation testing) at the University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg (FHV), we analyse the ageing effects caused by temperature fluctuations (low or high temperatures, temperature changes), UV radiation (UVA, UVB) and humidity (low or high humidity, humidity changes).

Using state-of-the-art imaging and spectroscopic analysis equipment (μCT, Raman, AFM, SEM-EDS) and special equipment for accelerated ageing such as temperature shockers, climate chambers and UV chambers, we have created a centre of competence at the FHV. This centre serves both scientific research purposes and the industry for product improvements, prototype testing, damage and weak point analysis, service life assessment and age determination.