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Enhancing composite in the cement industry

News International-French

21 Feb 2011

A major new initiative has been undertaken by the profession in the management of composite waste. It consists in carrying out a test involving the recovery of 100 tonnes of representative production waste for the cement industry.

JEAN-PIERRE DE LARY, DELEGATE GENERAL OF GPIC, HEAD OF THE VALCOCIM PROJECT

 

Glass fibre-reinforced polyester resin-based composite materials have been developed for many years in every sector of activity (automotive, aerospace, railways, shipbuilding, construction, sanitation, electricity, sports and leisure, etc.), and demand for these products is constantly growing.

 

Pilot test

A major new initiative has been undertaken by the profession in the management of composite waste. This pilot test involving the recovery of 100 tonnes of representative production waste in the cement industry was initiated by the trade organisation GPIC at the request of five of its members and themselves converters of composite materials: Carlier Plastiques, Fibres Du Hainaut, Onduclair, Polyfont and Stratiforme. Scori, a subsidiary of Suez Environnement, provided its technical support.

 

More Information
The GPIC (Groupement de la Plasturgie Industrielle et des Composites - Industrial Plastics and Composites Group) is the umbrella group for French companies involved in the processing of organic-matrix composite materials (glass/carbon fibrereinforced thermoset or thermoplastic resins) for various markets (automotive, railways, aerospace, construction, sanitation, shipbuilding, sports and leisure, etc.).

 

Over six months, the five companies delivered the 100 tonnes of production waste required to run the test. They supported the entire cost of the test campaign which is, in this context, far higher than the usual cost of landfilling. However, the results obtained have been encouraging and should benefit the composites sector as a whole The 100 tonnes of waste were successively stored and then ground down before being subjected to in-depth analyses, carried out by Scori, and finally sent on to the Ciments Calcia cement works at Beffes (Cher department).

 

Promising results

 

The results obtained have been very encouraging and justify the claim that non-chlorinated composite waste, ground to a precise particle size, is reusable in the cement industry.

 

Here, indeed, it is possible to speak of dual recovery, whereby there is:

 

  • Material recovery: to the extent of 67% of the mineral part of the composites (glass fibre, calcium carbonate) transformed into stable oxides, of the same nature as the raw materials used in cement production.
    These minerals can replace the virgin raw materials and are integrated in the clinker, the basic material for cement production. It should be stressed that the cement process does not generate waste.
  • Energy supply: to the extent of 33% of the organic part of the composites (polyester resins) which is used as a substitute fuel and enable savings to be made on the use of other fuels, generally fossil fuels. The substitute heat yield is very high.

 

Future prospects

The cement industry is therefore a channel for recovery composite waste that remains to be developed. This will be thrust of the efforts of the GPIC in 2010 in the launching of the "VALCOCIM" project, the object of which is to organise on a national basis the collection and recovery of composite wastes in the cement industry.