Workshop:  Life Cycle Assessment for Composites
Wednesday 25 September 2013 at Dartington

Rising demands from customers and regulators for improved environmental performance and increased transparency are driving a surge of interest in life cycle assessment (LCA) for composites as a tool for improving environmental performance. Join us at this event to gain knowledge on how to create value for your organization using LCA results.

This one day workshop, organised by South West Composites Group (SWCG), will consider the case for a range of composites material and seek to provide a basis for a rational analysis of potential issues. Key speakers from industry and academia will present their current knowledge on Life Cycle Assessment for Composites.


Workshop:  Life Cycle Assessment for Composites
Wednesday 07 April 2005 in Plymouth

(postponed from Wednesday 08 September 2004)

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an objective process to evaluate the environmental impact of a product, process or activity by identifying the energy and the materials used and the waste released to the environment.  LCA aims to evaluate and implement opportunities to affect environmental improvements, but is normally limited to a qualitative analysis.

The continued use of thermosetting matrix composite materials is under threat from new environmental initiatives.  The most significant are probably the European Union (EU) End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive, relating to the storage and recycling of vehicles after they are no longer in use, and the EU Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) Directive, which aims to reduce substantially the amount of electrical and electronic equipment entering incinerators and landfill.

Structures based on thermoset composites can be fabricated at ambient temperatures, At the start of their life, there is potential for considerable energy savings (and hence lower carbon emissions) in the manufacture of thermoset rather than thermoplastic composites.  However, thermosets are not easily recycled at their end-of-life.  Thermosets may be a potential landfill problem (but their use as reinforcing fillers may be a viable alternative) although large structures can be fabricated with minimal energy requirements .

Thermoplastic composites need to be processed some 200°C above the normal use temperature (so that they operate below Tg to avoid creep deformation). Whilst thermoplastic matrix composites offer the opportunity for recycling at the end-of-life, they do require a greater energy input in the fabrication of structures due to the high melting point relative to the use temperature (assuming the latter is below the glass transition temperature).

The aim of this one-day Workshop is to consider the case for each material and seek to identify what needs to be done to achieve a rational analysis of this potential dilemma.  Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an objective process to evaluate the environmental impact of a product, process or activity by identifying the energy and the materials used and the waste released to the environment. LCA aims to evaluate and implement opportunities to affect environmental improvements.  The use of quantitative LCA should allow us to determine whether thermoset composites are really the environmental threat that may be perceived without such analysis.

 

Programme 2013:


Programme 2005:

scrap.jpg (19723 bytes)

02b.gif (36674 bytes)

kaihatu09.gif (8530 bytes)