Many materials used in the automotive, furniture, and building industry are considered non-recyclable and are thrown away or incinerated at their end of life. ECOBULK demonstrated how re-using, re-manufacturing, and recycling these materials are possible, profitable, sustainable, and appealing.
- Research through design
- Circular product design
Project type: Research Project
Domain: Horizon Europe Project
Level: Systems Design
Outcomes: Theses, Reports, Educational material, Publications
Composite materials are products made of two or more different kinds of materials. They are popular because they are stronger and lighter than traditional materials like wood and metal. However, composites are also notoriously difficult to reuse or recycle and are becoming an obstacle to transitioning to a circular economy. Innovative solutions are needed to "close the loop" and show how composite materials can be re-used, re-manufactured, and re-cycled in ways that are business friendly.
A design that does not consider the end of life is not completeRuud Balkenende
Outputs from IDE for ECOBULK include:
- The PhD Dissertation of Jelle Joustra - Circular Composites: Design strategies for products containing composite materials in a circular economy.
- A Circular Design Guide for Composites, serving as a summary, guidebook, and inspiration for (re)designing composite products for a circular economy.
- Several Master's theses that served as demonstrators of the concepts outlined in the circular design guide.
- A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Ecobulk – Design and Decision support system for circular composite materials
- A final report that includes a more detailed overview of several demonstrators and concepts introduced int he Circular Desing Guide for Composites.
- Demonstrator sites developed across Europe, showcasing and testing circular solutions in automotive, furniture and construction industry
Read the theses: