Journal of Cleaner Production
In this study, efforts were made in order to put forward an integrated recycling approach for the thermoset based glass fibre reinforced polymer (GPRP) rejects derived from the pultrusion manufacturing industry. Both the recycling process and the development of a new cost-effective end-use application for the recyclates were considered. For this purpose, i) among the several available recycling techniques for thermoset based composite materials, the most suitable one for the envisaged application was selected (mechanical recycling); and ii) an experimental work was carried out in order to assess the added-value of the obtained recyclates as aggregates and reinforcement replacements into concrete-polymer composite materials. Potential recycling solution was assessed by mechanical behaviour of resultant GFRP waste modified concrete-polymer composites with regard to unmodified materials. In the mix design process of the new GFRP waste based composite material, the recyclate content and size grade, and the effect of the incorporation of an adhesion promoter were considered as material factors and systematically tested between reasonable ranges. The optimization process of the modified formulations was supported by the Fuzzy Boolean Nets methodology, which allowed finding the best balance between material parameters that maximizes both flexural and compressive strengths of final composite. Comparing to related end-use applications of GFRP wastes in cementitious based concrete materials, the proposed solution overcome some of the problems found, namely the possible incompatibilities arisen from alkalis-silica reaction and the decrease in the mechanical properties due to high water-cement ratio required to achieve the desirable workability. Obtained results were very promising towards a global cost-effective waste management solution for GFRP industrial wastes and end-of-life products that will lead to a more sustainable composite materials industry. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Year of publication: 2014