JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 30

FEATURE recycling ecosystem
might be difficult to recycle or dispose of, even
if those plastics do not meet the traditional
definition of hazardous. Its latest actions are
designed to address concerns about the growing plastic waste problem, including plastics

contaminating the oceans. But in practice, the
new rules could put some composites scrap in
a state of limbo.
The BC, a United Nations programme, is a
framework for controlling the transboundary

Focus
Composites circular economy example
John Deere and its supply chain partners have demonstrated how composite parts and components can contribute to a circular economic model. At the ACMA Composites Recycling Conference, professor David Salem, Ph.D., of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
(SD Mines), shared about a Recycling Group project of the ACMA and IACMI.
The targeted end-of-life product is a John Deere agricultural spray boom containing glass and
carbon fibre fabric reinforcement in a thermoset resin. The spray boom material was not available for this study, and so glass fibres and carbon fibres recovered from a wind turbine blade
and spar cap, respectively, were used to demonstrate feasibility. The large wind blade and spar
cap were shredded in a grinder, and then the materials were processed in a CHZ Technologies
Thermolyzer™ system to recover the fibres. The fibres were cleaned by SD Mines, and some
were densified by Vartega Inc. so that they would feed well into an extruder.
SD Mines then used the fibres to produce rolls of fibre-reinforced thermoplastic sheet material.
SD Mines used its patent-pending extrusion process to make the Discontinuous Fibre Thermoplastic Sheets (DiFTS). This process has been designed to maximise fibre dispersion, minimise
fibre damage and length attenuation, and impart fibre orientation.
These sheets were laminated into 1.2-metre square panels of 6 mm thickness. The panels were
vacuum thermoformed by a John Deere contractor into a vehicle door panel part. (See Figure 4.)
The case study did not elaborate on the end-of-life plan for the door panel part, but it was indicated that the part could be recycled and used in a thermoplastic compound for
another application.
Source: Composite & Nanocomposite Advanced Manufacturing Center (CNAM) at SD Mines

Focus
Regulations: Is it waste or scrap?
As you might imagine, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) knows a thing or
two about scrap. Speaking at the ACMA Composites Recycling Conference in May, ISRI chief
scientist David Wagger shared about how ISRI and the scrap metals industry worked for many
years to convince regulators that scrap metals are commodity-grade materials, not waste. "It
would be nice to have that story for composites, whereby composites are not considered waste
at any point," he said.
But what is the difference between a scrap commodity and waste? The terms are often used
interchangeably. But if a material is officially categorised as "waste" by various authorities, it
tends to be more highly regulated than commodity-grade materials.
ISRI defines scrap as something that is destined for recycling and moving toward another use
or application. On the other hand, it views waste as something that has been discarded, never to
be used again. But regulators can get pickier in their definitions, and sometimes they evaluate
whether the methods used to recycle and recover materials are considered waste treatment or
manufacturing processes.
For plastics to be considered commodity grade, especially under the new Basel Convention (BC)
rules, they need to be relatively pure and readily recyclable. If so, the BC and its member nations
globally will allow this type of plastic waste to flow uncontrolled. But if plastics are not considered commodity grade, they might fall into a new BC-controlled category for non-hazardous
plastic waste. In that case, greater regulatory controls could be put in place on those materials,
with more checks and balances on their flow between nations.
Finally, there is a separate but related line of discussion around how composite scrap should be
defined, for regulatory purposes, if it will be either 1) combusted as a cement kiln fuel source,
or 2) used to create fuels and other by-products through a pyrolysis process. Under the U.S.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, there are standards for identifying "non-hazardous
secondary materials" used as fuels or ingredients in combustion units. These materials are not
considered to be solid waste. However, a pyrolysis unit is not a combustion unit. The American
Chemistry Council has suggested that scrap destined for plastics-to-fuel and petrochemistry
(PTFP) facilities, including pyrolysis plants, should be classified as "feedstock or materials for
manufacturing" and not as solid waste.
Source: ISRI

30

jec composites magazine / N°136 September - October 2020

movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal. The BC framework for plastics applies
to scrap composites only if they move, from an
international trading perspective, under one of
the 3915 categories of the Harmonized Tariff
Schedule. These categories encompass various types of plastic waste, parings and scrap.
Effective January 1, 2021, the BC calls for
member nations to control the movement of
both hazardous and, for the first time, certain
non-hazardous plastic waste. In addition, the
BC created a new category, B3011, for plastic
waste that is "almost free from contamination and
other types of wastes" and destined for recycling
of each material in an environmentally sound
manner. The movement of plastic waste that
meets the B3011 designation will not be controlled by the BC framework. It is essentially
free to be traded as commodity-grade scrap.
Why are these developments a concern?
The biggest issue is that there is ambiguity
over what plastic waste will fall into which of
the different categories. There is a need for
consensus on the specifications. Otherwise,
individual nations could interpret BC plastic
waste rules in their own unique ways. Making
matters more complicated, the United States
is one of the world's only non-BC-member
nations. The U.S. is a party to the OECD,
along with 36 other countries. Under a BC
provision, the OECD is allowed to develop its
own approach to trade of end-of-life materials
for purposes of environmentally sound management. "It could become a difficult-to-navigate
menagerie," Wagger said.
Conclusions
Making a new composite product requires
supply chain coordination, technical expertise
and careful analysis of supply and demand patterns. Composite recycling requires the same
focused effort, plus intensified commitment
to environmental sustainability and doing the
right thing. As with any major initiative, it takes
time to work out the wrinkles before arriving
at a scalable, profitable business proposition.
But that is exactly what the composites
industry is working to do, and it is gaining momentum toward the creation of a sustainable
composites circular economy.
More information:
American Composites
Manufacturers Association (ACMA)
https://acmanet.org
Kathleen DesMarteau,
Contributing writer


https://www.acmanet.org

JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020

Cover
Edito
“We can change the way we envision global shipping overall”
Contents
NEWS
In brief
Agenda
BUSINESS
Reinforcement - Natural-fibre composites: an overview
Startup - When 3D printing meets sustainability
China - Xinzhou bets on the bamboo-based composites industry
MANUFACTURING
Wind - lnnovation in wind power through multi-process-capable systems
Automation - Higher production capacity thanks to automated manufacturing
FEATURE Sustainability - The path has been plotted
Recycling ecosystem - Composites recycling: in search of the circular economy
Mobility - A new generation of recycled composite materials for sustainable mobility
Preimpregnated textile - Healable composites to improve circularity
Process - New trends in composites and plastics recycling
Raw materials - Innovative composites made from up to 92% reclaimed materials
Construction - Biocomposites and automation: a sustainable future for the building industry
Ressources - Waste-free composite wheel production
Wind energy - From bottle to blade
Durable composites - Upcycling plastic bottles into value-added composite applications
Matrix - Novel thermoset composites for more competitive and sustainable industries
SOLUTIONS
Aerospace - Slinging rockets into space
Aerospace - Composites push back the final frontier
Railway - Composite overhead line catenary system for light rail
TECHNOLOGY
Repair - Developing an eddy current-based sensor system for quality assurance of carbon fibres
Inside the lab - Advanced Composite Materials Facility University of Southampton
Resin - Development of new type of plastics: Polypropylene 2.0
Index
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JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - “We can change the way we envision global shipping overall”
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - In brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 9
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 10
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Agenda
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Reinforcement - Natural-fibre composites: an overview
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Startup - When 3D printing meets sustainability
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 15
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - China - Xinzhou bets on the bamboo-based composites industry
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 17
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Wind - lnnovation in wind power through multi-process-capable systems
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 19
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 20
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 21
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Automation - Higher production capacity thanks to automated manufacturing
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 23
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 24
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Recycling ecosystem - Composites recycling: in search of the circular economy
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 27
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 28
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 29
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 30
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Mobility - A new generation of recycled composite materials for sustainable mobility
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 32
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Preimpregnated textile - Healable composites to improve circularity
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 34
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 35
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Process - New trends in composites and plastics recycling
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 37
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Raw materials - Innovative composites made from up to 92% reclaimed materials
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 39
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Construction - Biocomposites and automation: a sustainable future for the building industry
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 41
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Ressources - Waste-free composite wheel production
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 43
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Wind energy - From bottle to blade
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 45
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Durable composites - Upcycling plastic bottles into value-added composite applications
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 47
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Matrix - Novel thermoset composites for more competitive and sustainable industries
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 50
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Aerospace - Slinging rockets into space
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 52
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 53
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Aerospace - Composites push back the final frontier
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 55
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Railway - Composite overhead line catenary system for light rail
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 57
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 58
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Repair - Developing an eddy current-based sensor system for quality assurance of carbon fibres
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 60
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 61
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Inside the lab - Advanced Composite Materials Facility University of Southampton
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 63
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Resin - Development of new type of plastics: Polypropylene 2.0
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 65
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Advertisers
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 67
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 68
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