Structural Re-Use of End-of-Life Thermoset Composites
A new technology is presented of re-using End-of-Life (EoL) thermoset composite products. Opposing to existing recycling methods for these materials, this technology benefits from advantageous properties that are still present in these EoL products, like e.g. mechanical strength and long-term durability. Typical EoL thermoset composite products are wind-mill rotor blades, polyester boats and tanks. In the presentation it will be shown that the principle of the technology is based on the processing of the EoL products into relatively large and oblong elements, e.g. strips. In this manner these elements can serve as reinforcing parts in new composite products. The mechanical backgrounds of this principle will be explained by applying classical micromechanical models. Moreover, it will be presented that by re-using relatively large elements from the EoL products, the amount of virgin materials to be added for manufacturing new composite products is limited. In this manner, products can be made for e.g. civil applications that are economically competitive with traditional materials like tropical hard wood. An elaborated comparison will be presented for retaining walls in Dutch canals made of re-used EoL thermoset composite products versus made of tropical hard wood.
Authors: Dr. Ir. Albert ten Busschen
Conference: SAMPE Europe Conference 2016