The Life-REPOLYUSE project is about REcovery of POLYurethane for reuse in eco-efficient materials. It tries to solve the environmental challenge of the scarcity of resources and waste management in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The project addresses the problem of the management of plastic waste such as polyurethane using innovative reduction and reuse techniques. The polyurethane is integrated into a new construction material, a pre-fabricated ceiling tile made of gypsum. This prolongs the useful life of the polyurethane.
The waste used in the project comes from the refrigeration sector, the automotive sector and the treatment of end-of-life vehicles. The technology implemented generates a new material with similar characteristics to current commercial standards, with some technical improvements. The new gypsum-polyurethane tiles have been installed in three buildings, one of which is a new build and the others refurbishments. The tiles have therefore proven that they are viable.
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The new gypsum-polyurethane tiles have passed the tests required by the sector's regulations to certify their technical viability, and have the CE mark.
Compared to conventional tiles, the new product has the best reaction to fire classification according to Eurocode (A1), maintaining its acoustic absorption capacity and reducing both tile weight (28%) and thermal conductivity (24%). It also has the Product Environmental Self-Declaration guaranteeing its sustainability. Each new panel contains 4.9% of recycled material (polyurethane waste).
According to the Life Cycle Analysis comparing the Life-REPOLYUSE tile with a standard tile, the new product consumes less raw materials during production, saving 25% in water and 32% in gypsum.