End-of-life recycling options for glass fibre reinforced polymers

Shannon Hall

Abstract


This report covers the possible recycling options for end-of-life glass fibre reinforced polymers. Two forms (jigsaw and diamond bladed wet saw) of composite size reduction were compared to determine the most viable option. It was determined that the use of a jigsaw is essential due to its portability and low cost; being ≈36% less than the cost of the wet saw. Incineration with fibre recovery was performed at six different temperatures to determine which was the best to achieve complete resin decomposition. It was found that the most effective temperature, in terms of cost, burn-off time and effectiveness was 500°C. Incineration with energy recovery tests were performed using the bomb calorimeter. It was determined that the recoverable energy was 7MJ/kg. These two tests were conducted in order to determine the most feasible option for dealing with end-of-life waste composites. It was concluded that the most feasible option was incineration with energy recovery. This is due to its potential in aiding the process of cement production. The matrix has potential to be used as a fuel due to its high calorific content and the reinforcement could be integrated into the cement itself.


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