Scientific advances and innovation

Water diffusion in composites has already been widely studied by many international research teams which tend to say that its impact is harmful for the material. However, even if experimental results exist, we do not find efficient numerical methods associated to relevant models which allow predicting the behavior of the structure. The FIRMAIN project will lead to significant advances on the development of models and numerical techniques. Besides, all proposed tools will be extended to the stochastic framework so that uncertainties on physical phenomena, geometry, and crack paths can be taken into account. Such approaches will enable to characterize in a probabilistic manner, with statistical information and/or probability laws, critical quantities of interest used in the design of MRE structures. They will also permit a better understanding of coupling between moisture diffusion and composites damage.

Expected technical and economic impact

Marine Renewable Energy structures are from now on widely made of organic matrix based composites which possess excellent mechanical properties but which may be damage by various attacks from marine environment. The aim of the FIRMAIN project is to develop numerical tools for engineers which will allow studying the influence of water diffusion  within the composites on the material damage. These tools will allow optimizing the lifespan of MRE structures and reducing the cost of the energy produced.

Key project milestones

  • October 2016 - Project beginning
  • October 2017 - Bibliographic report and development of deterministic coupled model
  • October 2018 - Development of deterministic coupled model and extension of uncoupled models to the stochastic framework
  • June 2020 - Development of stochastic coupled model, thesis defense and papers in international journals


Development of numerical tools in order to analyze the damage of composite materials employed in Marine Renewable Energy structures.

Publications and papers published