29 Nov JEC COMPOSITES | Circularity of composites
COMPOSITES SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2022
On 27 June 2021, SMEs, end-users, manufacturers, research institutions and industry associations discussed the legal, economic, and technological challenges and next steps for the circularity of composites in Europe at an online roundtable event hosted by the European Lightweight Cluster Alliance (ELCA). The main objective was to highlight the opportunities and form a multistakeholder point of view for a circular business model for composite materials in the relevant industries.
The experts gathered at this roundtable discussed the challenges and opportunities for a holistic circular economy business model throughout Europe. The topics for discussion were determined by a survey distributed among the participants that listed questions about the current challenges, trends, and solutions for the circularity of composite materials. Since the participants represented
seven different EU countries, each facing dissimilar experiences and expertise, comparisons could be made and overarching challenges were identified.
The list of participants included research institutions and SMEs developing:
1) new ways to reuse composite materials (LAVOISIER COMPOSITES, France);
2) sustainable solutions to replace fossil-based raw material usage and reversible, reprocessable and recyclable cross-linked polymers (SPECIFIC POLYMERS, France);
3) technologies to upgrade the quality of composites by exploiting novel surface treatments and sizing approaches (Research Lab of Advanced, Composite, Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology (R-NanoLab, School of Chemical Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens, Greece).
HP Composites (Italy), as an end-user, expressed the challenges for part manufacturers to integrate circular materials into their products. Others shared their expertise on the legal, technological, and economic factors of a circular economy business model (Centre Technique Industriel de la Plasturgie et des Composites (IPC), France, European Composites Industry Alliance EuCIA, Belgium/Netherlands, TU Dresden (Institute for Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology), Germany, and AMZ Sachsen, Germany).
Through this initiative, the ELCA, led by Bax and Company (Spain), aims to raise awareness and contribute to the mutual understanding of stakeholders in the composite industry.
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