Structural Components From Recycled Fiber-Reinforced Composites

EPA Contract Number: 68D01024
Title: Structural Components From Recycled Fiber-Reinforced Composites
Investigators: Unser, John F.
Small Business: GMI Composites Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: April 1, 2001 through September 1, 2001
Project Amount: $69,961
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites offer inherent advantages over traditional materials with regard to high strength-to-weight ratio, design flexibility, corrosion resistance, low maintenance, and extended service life. FRP usage will increase dramatically in the next few years because of high demands in the civil infrastructure, offshore oil platforms, and automotive industries. Two issues that must be addressed to ensure continued growth in FRP usage is the disposal of waste generated during parts production and the disposal of the parts at the end of their useful life. There are no companies in the United States recycling FRP material in any quantities. Two of the major cost drivers for composites are labor and raw materials. Labor costs can be reduced significantly through the use of an automated process like pultrusion. The use of recycled FRPs offers low-cost raw materials. GMI Composites, Inc., and the University of Missouri-Rolla propose to develop an integral core-filled pultrusion process for fabrication of panels utilizing the partially ground FRP as a core material. A prototype machine will be designed and built. The process will be optimized and the pultruded cored panels will be fully characterized. The commercial potential for the pultruded panels is very high?the main competitive product, plywood, used in the industries being targeted is $157 million annually. The new product offers many advantages over plywood, including the fact that it will not rot, has a higher strength and stiffness, and has cost stability.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, fiber-reinforced polymer composites, plywood, waste disposal, engineering, chemistry, EPA, pollution prevention, recycling., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Municipal, waste reduction, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemistry and Materials Science, Environmental Engineering, municipal waste plastics, waste minimization, alternative products, municipal waste, fiber reinforced polymer (FRP), recycling, composites, construction material

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report