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The European Composites Industry Association (EuCIA) will present the latest guidelines for the proposed composites Eurocode during Composites Europe 2018 in Stuttgart, Germany, on 6-8 November. The association will also provide updates on other ongoing activities, including enhancements to its Eco Calculator environmental impact assessment tool and a European composites recycling survey.
During the exhibition, EuCIA will offer three presentations on booth 7/A79 as part of the Composites Forum programme:
A Eurocode for composites
Fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) materials offer durable, sustainable and cost-effective alternatives to traditional construction materials and this has led to their increasing use in European buildings and civil engineering structures during the past 20 years. However, to facilitate their more widespread adoption, comprehensive standards which provide designers and engineers with the confidence to build safe structures with FRP are essential. The Eurocodes, a series of European standards written in the 1990s, provide a common approach for the design of buildings and other civil engineering works and include a number of codes relating to concrete, steel and other construction materials, but none applies specifically to FRP composites. Progress towards a new code for composites is being driven by Working Group WG4 ‘Fibre Reinforced Polymers’ under CEN Technical Committee 250 (CEN/TC250), with expert assistance and financial support from EuCIA. The foundation for this new code is the report Prospect for New Guidance in the Design of FRP Structures, an updated version of which has recently been published. After a period for trial use and commenting, CEN/TC250 will decide whether these technical specifications will be converted into a Eurocode for publication by the end of 2022.
The 176 page document Prospect for New Guidance in the Design of FRP Structures is available to download from the EuCIA website.
Advancing the Eco Calculator
Life cycle assessments (LCAs) are becoming an ever more important part of the materials selection process and EuCIA’s Eco Impact Calculator is a free online resource enabling composites manufacturers to calculate the environmental impact associated with the production of their products from ‘cradle to gate.’ The Eco Report generated can be used as input for further life cycle calculations. The Eco Calculator incorporates a set of materials and processes based on data EuCIA has collected over the past three years. This database is continually reviewed, updated and expanded to extend the tool’s scope and application. Recent data additions include glass fibre mat and carbon fibre is scheduled to be added by the end of the year.
To ensure the most accurate information for forthcoming updates, EuCIA is currently seeking industry input for a number of materials and processes, including epoxy curing agents, flame retardants, prepreg, autoclaving and filament winding. Companies wishing to contribute to the development of the tool are invited to contact EuCIA.
The Eco Calculator is available free of charge at ecocalculator.eucia.eu and demonstrations will be available at Composites Europe.
European recycling survey
As the application of composites across numerous industry sectors continues to grow, ways to recycle composite production waste and end of life products are becoming more critical.
“The amount of composite waste in the EU is still limited, but it will grow substantially during the next 20 years,” notes Roberto Frassine, President of EuCIA. “While there are many composites recycling initiatives worldwide we recognised a need for reliable information on composite waste streams and recycling options for European industry stakeholders and we therefore established a Working Group earlier this year to pursue this objective.”
EuCIA’s Recycling Working Group has already completed a survey of the composite waste streams in the EU. An inventory of the recycling options currently available, and those under development, is now in progress.
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