Title: Using a glass-fibre reinforced polymer composite in the production of sustainable water storage tanks

Authors: Carla L. Simões; M. Vasconcelos; J.P. Nunes; C.A. Bernardo

Addresses: Institute of Polymers and Composites/I3N, Minho University, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal; PIEP – Innovation in Polymer Engineering, Campus de Azurém, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal ' Vidropol, SA, R. Augusto Nogueira da Silva, 1970, Apartado 2001, 4476-909 Maia, Portugal ' Institute of Polymers and Composites/I3N, Minho University, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal ' Institute of Polymers and Composites/I3N, Minho University, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal; PIEP – Innovation in Polymer Engineering, Campus de Azurém, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal

Abstract: The present work focuses on the use of the life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC) methodologies to evaluate environmental and economic impacts of polymers and polymer composites materials and products. Initially a literature review is performed in order to assess the scope and limitations of existing LCA and LCC studies on these topics. Then, a case study, based on the production of a water storage glass-fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) composite storage tank, is presented. The storage tank was evaluated via a LCA/LCC integrated model, a novel way of analysing the life cycle (LC) environmental and economic performances of structural products. The overarching conclusion of the review is that the environmental and economic performances of polymers composites in nonmobile applications are seldom assessed and never in a combined integrated way.

Keywords: life cycle thinking; life cycle assessment; LCA; life cycle costing; LCC; GFR polymer composites; GFRP; water storage tanks; glass-fibre reinforced composites; sustainable storage tanks; environmental impact; economic impact; structural products.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMPT.2016.073628

International Journal of Materials and Product Technology, 2016 Vol.52 No.1/2, pp.162 - 175

Available online: 14 Dec 2015 *

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