Innovative materials

The staff

Director : Daniel DUPONT

Name – Title – Laboratory

BRUE Flore – EC – DR LGCgE
TALHA Abderrahim – EC – DR LML
RUIZ BOWEN Ana – EC – Postdoctoral researcher GSA Versailles
ONOFREI Elena – Research Engineer GEMTEX
PETRUSIC Stojanka (ENSAIT) – Research Engineer GEMTEX
CODAU Teodor Cezar – Research Engineer GEMTEX
ALATORRE TORRES Norma – Postdoctoral researcher LML
ATTAL Emmanuel – Postdoctoral researcher IEMN – ISEN
CHEN Xiao – Postdoctoral researcher GEMTEX
FOO Laurent Chin – Postdoctoral researcher ERMESS
GIDIK Hayriyé – Postdoctoral researcher GEMTEX
KENAI M. Amine – Postdoctoral researcher LGCgE
KOUFI Lounès – Postdoctoral researcher LGCgE
MOREL Aude – Postdoctoral researcher GEMTEX
VIALLON Maud – Postdoctoral researcher IEMN – ISEN



Energy processes : Heat transfer, Transfer of matter, fluid mechanics
Reactional mechanics, structure-activity relations (QSAR), route signalling actions
Signal processing



Modelling, simulation, experimentation
Synthesis/analysis in organic chemistry
Data analysis


Fields of application

Energy processes : Food industry (cleaning equipment), aeronautics, rail, automobile

Housing (heat recovery, heating, cooling, etc.)
Chemical industry, pharmaceuticals (medicines, etc.)
Medical (biological models, exoskeleton, etc.)

The Processes, Sustainable Chemistry and Health unit (PCDS) is made up of three research teams (‘energy processes’ team, ‘organic chemistry’ team and ‘signal processing’ team) with complementary research fields.

The issues currently dealt with by the ‘energy processes’ team are linked to understanding how heat exchangers can become clogged up and to studying mixing and agitation systems. Assessments of mixing and agitation, digital and experimental fluid mechanics, convective transfers, thermodynamic optimisation (entropic and synergetic analysis) and the intensification of convective exchanges through the modification of runoff help increase the energy efficiency of processes. The development of these new optimised processes is enhanced through partnerships with the industrial sector.

The ‘organic chemistry’ team has internationally recognised expertise in the field of pyroglutamic acid chemistry, which they use as a basic synthon for a large number of types of heterocyclic compounds. The discovery of new reaction mechanisms often leads to optimised processes, enabling syntheses to be made in large quantities – a vital consideration in work with industrial companies, in particular.
HEI’s ‘organic chemistry’ team has joined an INSERM team (U995 – Therapeutic Innovation Targeting Inflammation), bringing us greater exposure internationally. This ‘multi-unit’ team, supported by the Université de Lille 2, the CHRU, INSERM and HEI, perfectly matches national policies and their definition of social issues. The team will concentrate its activities on chronic inflammatory diseases, considered as new social challenges in terms of health. In this respect, the HEI team is putting forward new therapeutic strategies to treat and prevent inflammatory difficulties.

Heat in the habitat

This group of expertise is made up of four permanent members, 4 PhD researchers and 3 non-permanent members (3 postdoctoral researchers).
The thermal approach to buildings is focused on the digital and experimental study of thermal, aeraulic and hydric transfers taking place in a building’s cladding and a study of indoor air quality.

As regards energy storage, the control of the modelling of thermal transfers with phase transition is a primordial stage in optimising our integration system on the building level.
What is more, it helps in choosing the PCM to be used and the conditioning system.

Moreover, the issues linked to ventilation suffer from a dearth of knowledge regarding often neglected convective phenomena. To guide design choices, it is important to understand the ventilation flow both from the modelling point of view and for measurement techniques, and to test them in complex conditions in real buildings. What is more, CFD is increasingly used in architecture to control temperature inside buildings, as well as thermal phenomena around buildings, to provide a global analysis of air flow around a future construction, providing control parameters for air flow, while guaranteeing air quality inside the building. Improving modelling of convective phenomena and the study of the interaction between air flow and the transport of particles represent major scientific hurdles that we are seeking to overcome.

Among the ongoing studies, we might mention the characterisation of fibrous textile materials used in building insulation. With the aim of increasing the inertia of cladding, PCM (phase-change material) will be associated with these fibrous materials. Then, to test the behaviour of these materials on the scale of a building, analysis using a dynamic thermal simulation will be carried out on a refurbished structure.


Another study focuses on the characterisation and behaviour of green walls in outdoor conditions from a thermal and also acoustic point of view, in order to accurately measure the gains made and to help develop other types of walls.

The dynamic study of air flow inside buildings will represent a major element in our modelling activity in the future. Applications need to be developed in order to improve the aeraulic models used in the thermo-aeraulic simulation codes. Moreover, heating issues in housing will increasingly be focused on the quality of indoor air by taking into account pollutants in the appreciation of comfort associated with building cladding. These pollutants may be of natural and/or industrial origin.


In fibrous textile materials, understanding of “conductive, convective and radiative” thermal phenomena is highly complex. Resolving the equation for radiative transfer and the equation of energy using the discrete ordinates method is not straightforward and requires numerous measurements, using spectroscopy FTIR (transmittance and reflectance) to determine the parameters (luminance, albedo, etc.) needed for resolutions. For green walls, hurdles occur in the analysis of convective and radiative exchanges between the wall and its environment, and controlling experimental conditions is difficult.


LACHT Project : Intermediary rooms: The role of intermediary rooms in heating and the air quality of housing.

VERISTANCE Project: Study of complex green walls.

Advanced textiles

This group of expertise is made up of three permanent members (2 PhD researchers and 1 research director) and 7 non-permanent members (3 research engineers, 3 postdoctoral researchers and 1 technician).
These members belong to GEMTEX (Textile Material Engineering Laboratory) and make use of the following skills:

The development of flexible structures providing a transfer/barrier effect
Characterisation, analysis and modelling of heat and mass transfers within complex textile structures
Conception of a textile sensor to monitor thermal and hydric transfers
Colour and multi-sensory science: characterisation and modelling

Its main focus of interest is involved in thermal comfort from fibrous materials and can be broken down into two parts:

o The management of thermal and mass transfers within fibrous materials, in connection with thermo-physiological comfort
Here we need to characterise, analyse and provide models for these transfers according to the different forms of exchanges: conductive, convective, radiative (particularly for infrared), evaporative and their interactions.
One of the issues involves drawing up specifications to provide the tools needed for interpretation, decision making and developing and designing innovative textile materials.
The goal is to develop functional mono- and multi-layers to improve the transfer/barrier role of fibrous media.
o The Interaction of light / matter (radiometric and photometric optics)
We are interested in the sciences of colour in general. The aim is both to understand the interactions between light and matter, or the way people see colours, and to design materials (especially nanostructures), “recipes for blending colours”, colour-control procedures (especially for colour effects), display and lighting systems.

These themes and challenges will be organised as follows:

These themes are organised and developed on the basis of three issues: design, characterisation and modelling as shown below.

  • FLUTEX Project

The group of expertise is currently working on a range of projects: a European project, ERANET- CrossTexNet, FLUTEX, the “study of thermoregulation, heat and hydric flows within multi-layered textile structures used for personal protective equipment (PPE) worn by fire fighters, aiming to improve comfort, performance and safety.”

  • HYDRAX Project

A European project, ERANET- CrossTexNet, HYDRAX, “designing smart heat-flux metering textiles to detect, characterise and monitor heat and mass transfers for PPE applications used by fire fighters, medical personnel, in sport and leisure, and for geotextiles.”

Dissertation in progress, “representation of the sense of touch through the virtual representation of a textile” (dissertation carried out as part of the FUI Camille 3D Sensoriel project, co-supervised with the ENSAIT), part of the FUI Project, C3DS Camille 3D Sensoriel: virtual and real perceived quality, improved perception of touch and hearing through an image, to design digital tools to be used in transport, fitting rooms and e-shopping.

Dissertation in progress, “measurement of thermal and mass transfer by modelling heat-flux metering textiles made up of thermoelectric wires”

Dissertation in progress, “Development and design of a multilayered textile structure used in PPE jackets worn by fire fighters, to improve heat and hydric transfer and provide comfort, performance and safety to the wearer”

Dissertation in progress, “design of an active polymer filament with nanometric stacking, combining optic, fluid and thermal qualities in a reversible way” (dissertation jointly supervised with IEMN, Université de Lille1, the ISEN).

Metal fatigue

Fatigue, damage to materials and structures

This research theme is led by a teacher-researcher linked to the L.M.L in the “Fatigue, Material and Structure Damage” team. The work is particularly focused on developing tools to predict lifespan in real conditions, taking into account damage and the accumulation of damage from multiaxial fatigue. Research is also being carried out on the “Mechanical reliability of multimaterial assembly”. This project aims to develop tools predicting lifespan, taking into account damage through fatigue-fretting, and allowing optimal parameters to be included from the design phase.

Modelling the rupture of piezoelectric materials

This research theme is led by two teacher-researchers in partnership with the ERMESS (EPF) laboratory. It is particularly focused on the analysis of particularities, as well as developing tools to predict the direction, speed and possible bifurcations in cracks in a piezoelectric environment. An analysis of random behaviour of ruptures is also taken into account.


Experimental and software platforms


Sciences of Colour Laboratories

As its name suggests, this laboratory is dedicated to the sciences of colour, and particularly all aspects linked to metrology. It is equipped with a range of spectrophotocolorimeters with different geometries, mono or multi angles, used for surface colours or light cabinets. With this equipment, we can not only assess the colour and visual attributes of different materials (in reflection or transmission, classic or colour effect, brilliance, etc.), but also study the management of the digital chain and the different calibrations of its components.

Laboratory for the Analysis of Fibrous Materials

This laboratory is dedicated to characterising fibrous materials, particularly for aspects concerning thermal comfort. It has three main instrument areas:
· The first concerns thermal properties (skin model, ISO 11092)
· The second concerns the properties of moisture with:
o Skin model (porous hot plate, ISO11092)
o Management of moisture (moisture vapour transmission rate (ASTM E96B), moisture management tester (MMT, AATCC 195), etc.
· The third concerns radiometric properties with:
o UV spectrophotometer-visible-NIR
o NIR Spectrophotometer IR (near, medium) FTIR with integrating sphere system
The laboratory makes it possible to study the thermal transfers and hydric transfers coupling axis that is essential for thermal comfort.


These two laboratories are completed by
· An area dedicated to modelling and simulating thermal and hydric transfers
· An area dedicated to designing specific instruments

Laboratory for the Functionalisation of Fibrous Materials

This laboratory works on adding functions to fibrous materials in order to give them specific properties. This task can be undertaken by microencapsulation, the development of a specific membrane, coating, etc.
Its equipment includes:
· Chemical micro encapsulation equipment;
· Coating line with roll and pad finishing with setting/drying system
· Packaging sterilisers
· A range of material dedicated to enhancement (autoclave, etc.)

Materials and Structures Laboratory

The main equipment in the laboratory includes :

Hydraulic machine for universal testing INSTRON 8516 (100 kN)
• Maximum shift of 150 mm – Capacity 100 kN – Maximum frequency 45 Hz
• Atmosphere chamber : -150°C to 600°C
• 12-circuit data acquisition extensometer
• Video system that can be synchronised with the frequency of the machine
• Steering and data acquisition software for different tests for fatigue/rupture.

Measuring machines for :
• Hardness, Micro-hardness, Resilience, Optic Microscope

Calculation codes :
• Abaqus, Catia, Statgraphic, Mathematica,

Materials currently being acquired :
• Calculation code for fatigue, FE-fatigue.