The project involves several innovative aspects, ranging from waste collection strategy to methods used in the manufac-turing process of the new panels.
The setting up of a database indicating neighbouring GFRP waste collection points and the relative quantity produced will enable forecasting strategies to be implemented for the re-treatment of such waste. Usually the main waste disposal sites show a certain seasonality and an almost predictable quantity per year: such information would allow collection and re-treatment planning, thus avoiding allocating an excessively large area for the temporary storage of the waste before it is treated. This will minimize the risk of waste dispersion into the environment, as the time between collection and re-treatment will be the shortest possible.
A second innovative and important factor is the manufacturing of combined structures, namely multi-layered panels, during the re-treatment of GFRP waste. The functional parts of the new panels (the back, with soundproofing or reducing properties; the front, aesthetically pleasing, easy to clean, soft and shock resistant) will be put in place immediately after the core of the fibreglass panel has been formed. This important quality of the new product is achieved thanks to the re-cycling of ground waste, which already contains fibres steeped in resins, thus enabling the distribution of newly in-jected resin on the surface of the panel core. This will result in a smoother surface, which will not require polishing, and in the availability of reactive species (glass fibre is inert) to allow the adhesion to the functional layers.
Last but not least, the new panels, made with fibreglass waste, will have exceptional properties, that are not available even in the latest and most innovative ceramic or polymeric based covering materials: the multi-layered structure allows synergy between several types of materials, resulting in panels that are good thermal insulators, light weight, sound-proof, shock resistant, radio-transparent, wholly recyclable, easily to instal and dismantle, designed for deconstruction and, most importantly, act as a thin supporting layer for valuable aesthetic products such as leather, wood or cork.