Discarding composite structures requires a holistic approach

Despite their relatively long life cycle, the usage time of composites does not last forever. Certainly for larger composite constructions we have to take the life cycle into account. To find solutions for the processing of large composite structures, Sirris (SLC-Lab and OWI-Lab) together with Agoria and Go4cCircle launched the feasibility study CompositeLoop.

A consortium was set up for this project, on the initiative of IBN Composites and IBN Offshore Energy. Waste processing of composite materials, in particular in the wind industry, is on the rise: with the increasing capacity, the number of blades per year is also rising (an estimated 500,000 tonnes/year in 2030 on a global scale, 150,000 of which in the EU). These will, just like the onshore turbines, eventually reach the end of their usage term. Other domains are already confronted with the end-of-life (EoL) challenge of composites: examples include hulls, swimming pools, silos and other applications in the building trade.

In this feasibility study, which started on 1 May 2018 and which will last one year, we want to investigate the feasibility, prior conditions and success parameters of a holistic solution for discarding large composite structures, such as e.g. offshore wind turbines. We will start by making an overview of the current state of the art, the trends and developments, the drivers, restrictions and success factors of the different options for these structures.

We intend to validate the results of the study in cooperation with businesses. Are you interested in discovering feasible EoL solutions for composite structures? Or do you want to keep up-to-date about the workshops and events which will be organised in this context? Feel free to contact us!

(Source pictures: Dreamstime)