Durable & Sustainable Structural Materials

To define priorities and directions for Flanders in the research theme Durable and Sustainable Structural Materials, a work group was put together with a well-balanced composition of academic and industrial players:

  • Knowledge institutes: KULeuven, Sirris/SLC, UAntwerpen, UGent, VITO and VUB
  • Industry: Agfa, Bekaert, LMS, OCAS, Recticel

The following three domains were identified as clusters:

  • Hybrid structural materials
  • High performance structural materials with multi-functionality
  • Sustainable processes (for manufacturing, processing and recycling of structural materials)

The proposed scientific themes within this research area match the interest and specialization of material related industry and research organizations in Flanders and allow Flanders to specialize within strategic important themes for the future. Flanders has top-level capabilities related to structural materials, both in the research world (universities, research centers) and in industrial R&D.

Achieving significant progress and breakthroughs in durability and sustainability of high-performance structural materials is clearly of high relevance for a number of sectors:

  • Transport (automotive, rail, ship, but also aerospace)
  • Construction (residential, infrastructure)
  • Energy and Power Systems (wind energy a.o.)
  • Consumer Products
  • Machine Building

There is a clear correlation with European efforts and focus in the following Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s):

Horizon 2020 also recognizes in the theme “Smart, Green and Integrated Transport” the importance of low weight materials and structures to contribute to the European transport policy target of achieving 60% CO2 reduction by 2050.





MacroModelMat: Macro-level predictive modeling, design and optimization of advanced light weight material systems.


Material durability for off-shore applications: looking at combined damage mechanisms (corrosion/abrasion/fatigue).