Circular Design for Composites

ECOBULK looked at all stages of the product lifecycle, as they all have different requirements to make products more circular in a realistic way. This means adapting the product design to meet those needs where possible, and so design comes to play a central role in enabling circularity. Through research and the experiences applying circular design principles, tools were created to help future designers make better choices more efficiently.

See here below our resources for designers.

  1. Circular Design Guide
  2. Fastener Finder
  3. Lifecycle Exploration Sheet
  4. Circular Design Online Course
Circular Composites - Design Guide

Project Ecobulk demonstrated a circular economy for products containing composites from three industry sectors: construction, furniture and automotive. The project revisited the materials, business models and design for a set of demonstrator products. In addition, researchers and students at Delft university of technology performed design case studies to explore recovery pathways and design practices. 

The Circular Composites design guide brings together the lessons learnt in all design cases and illustrates them with pictures of the finalized demonstrators and design cases.

Fastener Finder

The Ecobulk Fastener Finder is a web-app that helps product designers select from an enormous number of different fasteners, each with their own balance of pros and cons. The selection can be made based on:

• Circularity score
• (dis)assembly time
• Recycling material compatibility
• Lifecycle costing
• And more!

This tool was developed as part of the ECOBULK project and used in the redesign of the baseline products chosen in the automotive, furniture and construction industries.

Instructions on how to access the toolbox are included in the download.

Product lifecycle exploration sheet

The product lifecycle exploration sheet can be used to explore the product, actors and actions along the product lifecycle. The sheet can be used in group sessions to stimulate discussion and create a shared understanding of the product lifecycle and circular opportunities. The session starts with a product description, and if followed by identifying stakeholders for each phase in the product value chain. Finally, the recovery loops can be explored, describing potential recovery actions to return the product, its parts or materials, from end of use to the value chain.

Circular Design Online Course

Based on the Circular Design guidelines, the Circular Design MOOC walks designers through the different aspects of designing for products with composite materials. It highlights issues that should be considered for end of life scenarios and offers strategies for how to deal with them in a practical way.