Effective mechanical reinforcement of inorganic polymers using glass fibre waste


Glass fibre waste (GFW) coming from wind turbine blade production was used for the first time as a reinforcement agent in inorganic polymer (geopolymer) production. The influence of glass fibre content and length on the inorganic polymer microstructure, apparent density, and compressive and tensile strength was evaluated. Results demonstrate that the use of short, randomly distributed fibres significantly enhance the geopolymers' compressive strength (by up to similar to 162%) and tensile strength (by up to similar to 77%), while overcoming the brittle nature of the geopolymers. It was also found that the glass fibre content, rather than the fibre length, is the dominant factor affecting the geopolymers' mechanical properties. These results demonstrate the possibility of using an unexplored waste stream (glass fibre waste) as a reinforcement agent in inorganic polymers, which may reduce the amount of wastes in landfill and lower inorganic polymer production costs, while simultaneously contributing towards the circular economy. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



subject category

Science & Technology - Other Topics; Engineering; Environmental Sciences & Ecology


Novais, RM; Carvalheiras, J; Seabra, MP; Pullar, RC; Labrincha, JA

our authors


This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007679 (FCT Ref. UID/CTM/50011/2013), financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when appropriate co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. R.C. Pullar thanks the FCT for funding under grant IF/00681/2015.

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