Title: Life cycle assessment of products made of composite materials

Authors: Krishnan Jayaraman, Xun W. Xu

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland Mail Centre, Private Bag 92019, 20 Symonds Street, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland Mail Centre, Private Bag 92019, 20 Symonds Street, Auckland 1142, New Zealand

Abstract: Fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials have become quite common around the world in numerous applications. The corresponding expansion in synthetic polymer production has led to increasing problems of recycling and resource identification. Hence, it has become imperative to uncover the |environmental credentials| of the FRP composite materials. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a technique that provides a thorough perspective on the environmental impacts and the various hazards related to a product and its processes. While LCA has been carried out extensively on products made of conventional materials, assessment of products made of composite materials are still rare. An overview of the available information on LCA of products made of composite materials, in three major industries, automobile, packaging and construction is presented.

Keywords: LCA; life cycle assessment; composite materials; automobile industry; packaging industry; construction industry; sustainability; automotive composites; fibre-reinforced polymer; FRP composites; environmental impact.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLM.2009.031664

International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, 2009 Vol.4 No.1/2/3, pp.11 - 22

Available online: 17 Feb 2010 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article