Circular Design of Composite Products: A Preliminary Framework Based on Insights from Literature and Industry

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Composite materials are an attractive material choice as they enable lightweight, low maintenance products with a long lifespan. But closing the loop for these materials in a Circular Economy (CE) is challenging, especially for thermoset composites. In a CE, products should be designed for minimal impact while preserving their environmental and economic value for as long as possible. However, design strategies for composite products in a CE are currently largely unexplored.
Insights from literature on design for a CE as well as on composites recovery are combined to create a set of design principles for composites in a CE. In addition to well-known long life, lifetime extension and product recovery approaches, literature indicates the potential value of structural recycling. Structural recycling preserves most of the functional value of the product, which is largely lost in
materials recycling. Experts from composites industry were interviewed in focus groups to further explore CE strategies and design principles for a set of reference products, such as car interior components. The resulting framework connects Circular strategies to design principles for composite products and supports design of new composite products for use, reuse and recycling in a CE.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPLATE – Product lifetimes and the environment
Subtitle of host publication3rd PLATE Conference, September 18–20, 2019 Berlin, Germany
EditorsNils F. Nissen, Melanie Jaeger-Erben
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-7983-3125-9
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventPLATE 2019 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 18 Sep 201920 Sep 2019


ConferencePLATE 2019
Abbreviated titlePLATE
Internet address


  • Design
  • Circular Economy
  • Composite products


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