Wind energy, aerospace and maritime fiberglass waste is no longer put to waste

Global Fiberglass Solutions Inc. has a patented process for recycling fiberglass, grinding it into recyclable feedstock, and reusing the material in new products. This alternative creates an fully contained system rather than disposal in landfills or incineration.

There exists a widespread assumption that once a corporation uses its industrial fiberglass materials to capacity, the defunct items (for example, the blades of a wind turbine) must meet their end in a landfill. Also widely known is that landfills are filling up, dumping costs continue to rise, and we don’t stop needing fiberglass materials for modern industries. Global Fiberglass Solutions Inc. (GFSI), with its newest manufacturing plants in Texas and Iowa, proves the first assumption wrong and the second assumption newly irrelevant to companies hoping to bypass such issues. 

Wind energy, aerospace and maritime fiberglass waste is no longer put to waste
For several years, GFSI has provided fiberglass material decommissioning services to wind turbine energy companies. GFSI personnel retrieve the defunct blades, cut them into pieces in record time, and transport the materials to GFSI processing facilities as part of its patented processing methodology. GFSI’s process includes the end-of-life cycle recycling of 100% of the blade materials so no part of this massive structure ends up as waste. On top of that accomplishment is that the process has saved energy companies like General Electric thousands in waste transportation and dumping costs.

Wind energy, aerospace and maritime fiberglass waste is no longer put to waste
Though a significant feat in itself, wind turbine blade recycling is far from the only service GFSI can provide to its clients. Thanks to the broad application ability of research findings GFSI has done in partnership with Washington State University, the revolutionary materials processing technique is also able to recycle boats and airplanes. This represents not only an alternative waste management option to the maritime and aerospace industries but the potential to reduce landfilling of these items.

Wind energy, aerospace and maritime fiberglass waste is no longer put to waste
A major development for GFSI in FY 2018 is the operation of its two materials processing and manufacturing plants, one in Sweetwater, TX and the other in Newton, IA. These plants serve not only to process fiberglass waste into manufacturing-grade fibers, but then can use those fibers to manufacture new products for GFSI clients. As a fully cradle-to-cradle waste recycling solution, GFSI will produce millions of high-value industrial products such as building construction panels and warehouse pallets from the harvested fiberglass waste. Surpassing the production numbers, however, is the limitless possibility to make any product imaginable out of this material.

As the icing on GFSI’s innovation cake, the company’s BladeTracker technology records the processing and manufacturing of materials digitally. This information proves itself invaluable to future manufacturing efforts as it enables the material to be recycled in infinite product life cycles after becoming a GFSI recycled product. GFSI, as a global company, works with business clients all over the world with major connections in Europe and Asia. 

Companies: Global Fiberglass Solutions

Industries: Aerospace, Energy, Marine Transportation and Shipbuilding

Technologies: Other Processing Method

Terms: Innovations, News Worldwide

This article has been edited by Basalt.Today
This article has been written on JEC Composites Magazine
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