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Recycling and Repurposing of Plastic Waste for Advanced 3D Printing Applications

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Repair3D (Recycling and Repurposing of Plastic Waste for Advanced 3D Printing Applications)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-06-30

Repair3D project targets to develop innovative reclamation and repurposing routes for end-of-life plastic and carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) components. This will be achieved by employing advanced nanotechnology solutions, Additive Manufacturing (AM) and recycled resources, for the production of high added value 3D printed products with advanced functionalities.
In this way, the combination of AM, polymer processing and recycling technologies could constitute a new paradigm of a distributed recycling process, easily implemented at local scale in collaboration with the industrial sector and collection facilities, in order to create competitive, highly customisable products at lower production costs, in a flexible digital environment that fully unravels the potential of eco-design and allows for integration of smart intrinsic self-sensing, self-repairing and recycling options.
The project aims to address all aspects and stages of thermoplastic and CF reinforced thermoplastic 3D printing material development from recycled resources, starting with the selection of suitable waste streams, strategies for material repair, compatibilization and upgrade towards AM processing, compatibility between different thermoplastic matrices and the reinforcing fibres and nanoparticles, comparative assessment of various AM thermoplastic processing technologies and closed-loop material optimisation in terms of processability and performance.
From the start of the project, the consortium reported all requested documentation that described the progress of the project. The materials development partners reported all the plastic waste stream analysis, selection, shredding and upcycling processes in the deliverables of WP1 (D1.1 D1.2 D1.6) together with detailed aspects of the used plastic waste streams available inside of the consortium. Detailed aspects of the used (nano)materials, the followed synthesis processes and functionalizations, for the matrix modifications (self-healing, self-sensing properties) and smart sizing procedures have been addressed. Furtheremore carbon fiber waste streams available within (and outside of the consortium) have been identified, selected per each additive manufacuring technology and processed to be used in WP3 (D2.1 D2.2). The first composite fillaments have been fabricated and their characterization including printability testing took place. Additionally, all necessary characterizations and measurements have been performed within WP1 and WP2. The first requirements and combinations of materials for their final industrial applications has been set with end-user and will be updated during the project with progress of materials (composite filament) development. Regarding WP3 and WP4, MODA sheets have been reported (MS12) for Task 3.8 Task 4.2 Task 4.4 and Task 4.5. In WP4 design of demonstrators is ongoing and modelling activities are initiated. WP5 will be launched in M24. In WP6 the first risk assessment has been performed and recommendations regarding safety aspects within the consortium are given. Furthermore, a Safe-by-Design approach for nanomaterials within the project has been developed (D6.1). Screening LCA studies have been performed for a few selected ongoing processes. Dissemination and Communication actions (WP7) have already overcome the initial awareness phase to enter the targeted dissemination phase whose main achievements are: enrich project website and socials, attend events, publish papers, join clustering and networking events to approach stakeholders (D7.1 D7.4 (in preparation)). The scope is to present Repair3D’s first result to scientific community, industrial ecosystem and general audience. Also, an effective exploitation strategy is running. IP technology insights are on-going to understand what’s happening outside Repair3D about IPR based on a detailed IP survey (D7.2 M7 and M13 versions). The data from IP technology insights are used to elaborate the master plan for industrial exploitation.
The potential impacts of Repair3D can be summarized in the following:
- Meeting the EU's circular economy and environmental targets while demonstrating a clear benefit, i.e. more efficient or economic than the state of the art in order to enable market uptake in the short to medium term.
- Create new technologies and business opportunities for the recycling industry across Europe, especially in the area of composites and plastics where the challenge is high.
- Demonstrate a potential reduction in landfill waste volume by > 50%.
- Reduction of the carbon footprint of the corresponding products by > 30% (based on a full Life Cycle Assessment).
Repair3D has joined the Plastics Circularity Multiplier Cluster, an initiative which seeks to improve value chain collaboration and create cross cooperation between EU Projects. Repair3D is one of the innovation projects, who have joined this initiative which aims at showcasing the synergies of EU-funded projects in the field of plastic circularity and coordinating communication and dissemination activities. The initiative aims to complement existing resources set up by the EU institutions, designed to generate an ecosystem of EU investments in circular economy and innovation.