Bayram, Berfin

Composite materials are widely used in the construction industry with their diverse range of application. However, the end-of-life of composite materials are rarely focused, and it is challenging due to their complex structure. Especially with the Europe’s circular economy action, handling of the construction and demolition waste plays a crucial role considering the enormous amount of the waste generated. In the long term, composite waste from construction industry can be problematic as currently developed techniques for composite recycling are very limited. Thus, a life cycle thinking is necessary for composite construction materials. Towards creating a circular economy around composite construction materials, eleven interdisciplinary PhD students from RWTH Aachen University and Münster University of Applied Sciences are working together with two industry partners through the project Verbund.NRW. The aim is to achieve a viable circular economy model for composite construction materials, which enables holding the resources in the loop as long as possible with the reduced environmental impact. With its holistic approach, feasible system models considering technical, economic, environmental, social and legal aspects will be studied. Whole life cycle of composite materials, from design for disassembly to recycling options, is included in the scope of the project. In addition, with its system dynamics different parameters, such as logistic and demolition methods, and their interactions will be analyzed. The project Verbund.NRW seeks to contribute sustainable and resource-efficient closed loop economy in the case of composite construction materials, with strong collaboration between research and industry for designing realizable models.