Structure and institutes of VERBUND.NRW Structure and network of institutes of the doctoral school VERBUND.NRW of RWTH Aachen University and FH Münster

In the construction sector, major markets for composite materials and structures have emerged in recent years - textile concrete, thermal insulation composite systems, carbon and glass fiber reinforced components as well as intelligent wall systems. Further market growth is projected. In addition to its importance with regard to economic and social aspects, the construction sector has a great resource relevance - it is responsible for 60% of resource consumption, 35% of energy consumption as well as for more than 50% of waste generated per year in Germany.

In order to meet the multitude of different and complex requirements such as multifunctionality, design, weight, costs, composites or composite constructions are the materials of first priority. The graduate school VERBUND.NRW analyzes the fiber composite materials and constructions in the construction sector along the whole value chain "development / production, construction / processing, utilization / disposal as well as deconstruction / recycling “. The aim of VERBUND.NRW is to increase the resource efficiency of composites in the construction sector.

VERBUND.NRW and Research Unit International Economics

In the framework of VERBUND.NRW, the Research Unit International Economics analyzes the impact of national and international regulation strategies regarding the structure of the markets for composite materials. Each individual stage of the supply chain is to be investigated. Both across the entire composite material and within the context of the entire product life cycle – beginning with the raw input materials up to the possible recycling of the end products. Following the identification of possible incentive distortions, a theoretical model on the production and trade of composite materials is to be developed. Based on the model, economic policy recommendations for increasing market efficiency regarding sustainability, competitiveness and investment are to be derived. The project consists of three studies, which build up an argumentation chain and gradually reach the aim of the doctoral thesis.

Within the framework of the first study, the international markets for composite materials are to be examined. Both national and international regulation strategies are to be identified. Composite markets and regulations are to be evaluated regarding possible market problems as well as incentives and investment distortions. The focus of the first project is the portrayal of the markets for composite materials and the associated regulation. Furthermore, it shall be examined whether the current national and international economic policies and regulations can provide necessary conditions for sustainable production, usage and recycling of composites. In the subsequent study, the international markets for composite materials are to be modeled. A theoretical model which is suitable for the explanation and forecasting of production, trade, investment and recycling of the composites is to be developed. Both the technical and behavioral aspects of international trade and the production of composites are to be considered. The aim of the subsequent third study is the development of instruments to increase long-term efficiency and sustainability of the composite markets and to test them on the basis of the theoretical model. Economic policy recommendations for the creation of additional economic and environmental-related values are to be derived.

Contact: Dmytro Katerusha (M.Sc.)