While building an expanding portfolio of products made of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP), the New Materials Business (NMB) is also working on a roadmap towards a sustainable future with composite materials. There is conscious effort among composite manufacturers to create a positive impact on the environment and recyclability. Despite the somewhat common concerns about sustainability and recyclability of composites materials, these materials offer a range of environment benefits and can be recyclable. These include:

  • Being lightweight, composites reduce fuel and material consumption
  • Corrosion-resistance reduces material loss and brings down maintenance costs
  • Common structural materials have issues on recyclability. While cement is not recyclable, aluminium is 100% recyclable but only for like-to-like applications. Steel can be recycled for about three cycles after which trace elements increase beyond acceptable limits. In comparison, thermoplastic polymers are recyclable. There is an ongoing effort to develop appropriate thermoplastics to replace thermosetting polymers
  • End-of-life thermosets and thermoplastics can be reused for non-primary applications. NMB has initiated discussions with some start-ups in this area
  • There are commerciallyviable and scalable methods of reclaiming and recycling carbon fibres from end-oflife composite products and process rejects.