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Recyclability of Composite Materials

NORCO - December 1, 2019 - 0 comments

Recyclability of Composite MaterialsRecyclability of Composite Materials - NORCO Composites & GRP

We are proud to announce our first investigation into the recyclability of composite materials at NORCO Composites & GRP.

In response to our clients’ needs, and, to better understand the potential of recycling fibres, we are leading a full investigation to assess the value of sustainable materials, their carbon footprint and the feasibility of recovering fibres at the end of life.

This and other projects are part of NORCO’s commitment to improving sustainable composite manufacturing as part of our ISO 14001 accreditation, which sets out the criteria for our environmental management system.

To assess the carbon footprint, we have used Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to determine a CO2e value. Listing materials, processes, energy use and impacts have all been considered. To calculate and report our findings the Marine Shift 360 LCA tool has been our chosen method of assessment.

So why are we doing this?

We feel that the adoption of LCA for any company is an exciting opportunity to understand in detail the effects of processes and materials that are used every day during the manufacture of its products.

LCA can provide a crucial role in promoting competitiveness and sustainable growth for our business.

Being able to recycle new materials is equally an essential goal in our investigation. To test if this is feasible, an indicative hull sample built using Mineral Enriched Volcanic Fibre has been manufactured and will be recycled through the Pyrolysis. Once the fibres are retrieved, they will be put back through the manufacturing process at the furnace where they were originally made and remade into new fibres.

The objective is to demonstrate that reclaimed fibres can be reused in the same format when they were first made into a composite part. This indicative exercise is hoped to show that material consumption (resource depletion) and waste to landfill can be reduced.

This investigation into recyclability is only one aspect of a number of projects Norco are undertaking to develop a more sustainable approach to manufacturing.

We invite any interested parties to contact us with any questions and we are pleased share our understandings for those looking to improve sustainability in the industry.

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