P5: Recycling-oriented application of fibre reinforced composites in the construction industry

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Magdalena Kimm

PhD student

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+49 241 80 24746

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Fibre reinforced composites (FRCs) are being used increasingly in the construction industry, because of their outstanding properties regarding multifunctionality, design, weight, and cost. A further growth in usage is predicted. But the novelty and structural complexity of FRCs is also a challenge for the material cycles, since no recycling economy technologies exist for these products.

The project is conducted at the Institute for Textile Technology of the RWTH Aachen University under the lead of university professor Thomas Gries. The goal of the project is to harness the advantages of fibre reinforced composites in the construction industry in such a way that solutions for separation and reprocessing of the materials at the end of the life cycle are already included. Therefore, the project is placed at the start of the value chain, at the production and processing step.

 

Problem statements relevant to the sustainability of the production of FRCs are compiled in cooperation with a textile concrete producer. Subsequently, trials regarding production and separability are carried out. In doing so, different solution approaches are taken into account:

  • Reduction of the material variety
  • Improving the separability by modifying the material boundary layers
  • Use of secondary materials in the production of new composites
  Separated carbon concrete sample after targeted destruction Institute for Textile Technology Separated carbon concrete sample after targeted destruction

The validation of the results is done through evaluation of mechanical properties (e.g. bending stiffness) and visual properties (e.g. surface quality) of FRCs that are produced using primary or secondary, i.e. recycled, materials. A further goal is to use the developed production process exemplary in practice and to evaluate the value-added process from an economic perspective.