Development and validation of an innovative process for recycling and recovery of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP), and marketing of new recycled FRP goods.
Approximately 800,000 tons/year of FRP are produced in Europe, of which about 100,000 tons in Italy, with a trend in continuous growth, by virtue of the difficult to replace performance characteristics of GRP suitable for the realization of countless products fitting into virtually every industrial sector .
Most FRP waste are disposed of in landfills, this require a very rapid and effective solution in line with EU 2020 circular economy Action Plan.
FRP goods dismantling was through highly automated robots with artificial systems of perception by means of artificial vision and perception (e.g. via IoT and RFID) and robotic manipulators. These systems works in cooperation with qualified human operators and
REVYTA also determine the costs for each recycled product and the real market value.
Manufacturing companies involved in the project had then to review, also under the design profile, their products with a design-for-recovery approach.
REVYTA also elaborate a management proposal of the entire supply chain of GRP in Tuscany: technical/legislative compliance of process and recycled products, suitable certification systems and realization of specific digital 4.0 systems for the traceability of all the material flows involved.
The project allows recycling of FRP waste as an alternative to landfill disposal, thus supporting circular economy development for a so far hard to recycle waste and, as such, may be supported through cohesion funds from Member States Public Autho

Resources needed

945 thousand euro of public funding of Tuscany 2014 – 2020 ERDF OP.
The REVYTA partnership: EFFEBI shipyard, SNIAP components for railway vehicles, DIFE waste management, Flashpoint (4.0 traceability): Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Polo Tecnologico Magona University of Florence Department of Design.

Evidence of success

Project achieved some important results:
• Experimental Automatization and mechanization of disassembly operations of fiberglass parts and components
• Prototype validation of innovative material recovery processes from fiberglass waste and scrap
• Revision and redefinition of design standards and design of fiberglass parts and components
• Establish an effective collaborative model for management of the entire product life cycle

Difficulties encountered

High costs of disassembling are the major challenge in recycling GFR.
A common European legislative framework about waste FRP management would be very valuable to improve environmental sustainability for this economic sector.

Potential for learning or transfer

The REVYTA project results offer an industrial and eco-sustainable model of fibreglass recycling, still non-existent in Europe, through the dismantling, disposal and recycling of fibreglass used in the nautical (boats), automotive (motorhomes) and transport (railway carriages) sectors.
At the same time, ecodesign studies carried out by the project allow to optimize the upstream production of the components, in terms of alternative shapes and materials, so as to allow, downstream, their simpler and cheaper dismantling, recovery and recycling.
The project tested automation and robotics solutions, according to the Industry Strategy 4.0, that can be useful to speed up the cutting of GRP parts, avoiding operations dangerous to workers' health, increasing the professional qualifications of the staff employed and drastically reducing costs.
Last but not least, the project delivered an in-depth assessment of the relevant legal framework, with regard to End of Waste and Reach legislatio
Main institution
Tuscany region
Location
Toscana, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
January 2018
End Date
December 2020

Contact

Massimiliano Di Mattia Please login to contact the author.