4 Rs (Recycling, Reusing, Repurposing, Repairing): Composites in a Circular Economy
Significant events have happened recently that have added immensely to the pressure for developing sustainable and circular composite solutions, such as the ban on composite landfilling in many countries, the first major wave of composite wind turbines reaching their End-of-Life (EoL) and being decommissioned, the acceleration of aircraft decommissioning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the increase of composites in mass production cars, thanks to the development of high volume technologies based on thermoplastic composites. Such pressure will only grow in the upcoming decade. Increasing the circularity of fiber-reinforced composite materials will therefore play an important role in the future, in particular for the wind energy, but also for aerospace, automotive, construction and marine sectors to reduce environmental impacts and increase true sustainability of composites through circularity whilst also meeting the increased demand for composite materials. The session will provide a state-of-the-art overview of possible circular models for Composite Materials and how we can successfully close the loop on composite materials, thanks to innovative recycling, reusing, repurposing and repairing methods.