Case Studies

Waste originating from construction and demolition represents one of the highest volumes of waste in Europe. One ton of construction and demolition waste is produced per person per year – i.e. 500 million tonnes in the whole EU every year. (Source)

New materials and processes will be showcased to build small structures out of wood plastic composites, including temporary housing, decking and fencing.

The new KymiRing motorsport park in Finland will feature some specially designed service houses.

Light Construction Materials from GFRP waste

In Europe, an estimated 304,000 tonnes of composite waste was generated in 2015, and by 2025, it expected that 683,000 tonnes of composite waste will be generated annually. This is clearly a fast growing problem, and any new composite design developments to make materials more recyclable will not have an impact on the growing stocks of future composite waste materials that will exist within the transport, construction, energy and marine industries. In fact, within wind turbines alone, there is an estimated stock of 2.5 million tonnes of GFRP.

Conenor has developed a new, patented, low-cost process technology to utilize GFRP waste streams as reinforcement in thermoplastic composites. Waste from wind turbine blades, combined with limited virgin material, have been combined to produce extruded composite profiles and panels that are suitable for light structural applications like shelters, cabins and benches. The materials are naturally weather resistant, and fully re-manufacturable. Through testing, the materials have been remanufactured and can be shown to maintain their structural properties through several with only limited additional virgin material.

The materials have been used by partners to create some attractive and useful outdoor features:

1. Lipor, Portugal – Drinking fountain shelter, tree bench shelter, bin shelter in Ecopark

2. Cranfield University/Warwich University, UK – Outdoor shelters for students in campus

3. FCBA, France – Outdoor benches and seats

According to modelling by Oakdene Hollins, this new patented process provides a high volume, fully circular business model, with circular materials at a price comparable to other competing materials. The materials are expected to require reduced maintenance and surface treatments, making them quite appealing. This development potentially offers a positive net value disposal route for GFRPs.

Further work is being done by partner FCBA on testing the suitability of the materials for integration into modular wall units, where they can replace some of the other traditional materials. Testing revealed presence of composites in the wall does not significantly change the thermal behaviour of timber frame wall, the temperature profiles of the different material interfaces are very similar. With regard to moisture transfer, the presence of composites demonstrates a role of vapour barrier for the interior facing. This role can be useful for rooms with high humidity to avoid accumulating water in the timber frame wall. Work on this is ongoing.

If you have any questions on the protorype development and testing, or would like to get in contact with the Ecobulk team for any other reason, please use the form below.