CompPair originates from the Laboratory for Processing of Advanced Composites (LPAC) at the Ecole Fédérale Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL), one of the most prestigious research institute in Switzerland. Following 12 years of thorough research in the field of self-healing composites, CompPair developed a bio-inspired fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) to make composites repair fast and waste-free.
Currently, FRP (such as CFRP or GFRP) are widely used thanks to their high performance and low density. However, FRPs are brittle and sensible to damage events from impacts or fatigue which create micro-cracks that grow under load until catastrophic failure. Current repair processes for composite materials are time-consuming and generate a lot of wastes while affecting their performance. Indeed, as the repair cuts the fibers, repaired composite structures are usually more fragile and heavier.
The eco-friendly smart material developed by Amaël Cohades, now CompPair’s CEO, can be used with any fiber type and allows composite structures to fully heal matrix damage. The composite structures can heal damage multiple times, always recuperating initial properties, while staying structural during the repair. CompPair now commercializes this technology through pre-impregnated textiles (named HealTech) used to build composite applications. The composite repair process with HealTech is fast, easy, and more durable: the non-invasive repair keeps the fibers intact, maintaining the initial performance, weight, and profile. Composite damage is now repaired in 1 minute only with a heat gun, in place, without a need for sanding or any mold.
By making composites repair faster and more durable, CompPair’s goal is to create a full circularity in the composites industry. Matrix damage can be repaired easily with a simple heat gun, and parts can be recycled at the end of life. This circular model has the potential to reduce resource needs for composites by 50% while reducing maintenance costs for wind turbine blades, airplanes, or ships and reducing failure of sports products.
CompPair has been selected across industries as a game-changing material innovation and the team is now working with multiple clients to make better composite products, that last longer and create less waste.