Araquari, Brazil – Experts Kingspan Isoeste have found a way to turn production waste into a useful product. EcoPIR is made from waste from the manufacture of its PIR insulated panels, and means none of the scrap ends up in landfill.
The historical building practice for multi-floor construction in Brazil, Kingspan said, is to use concrete or ceramic blocks to form the structural elements of each floor slab before the concrete is poured. In the past 30 years, ceramic blocks have been replaced with expanded polystyrene foam blocks, which are lighter. EcoPIR is a further advance, it said.
First, the steel is removed from the production waste and sold for recycling, and the PIR foam recovered. It is then ground up into small particles, and mixed with a bonding agent before being compressed to form EcoPIR boards. These can then be used to support concrete floor slabs when constructing multi-floor buildings.
“There are multiple benefits deriving from this process, the main one being we no longer have PIR waste in the manufacturing process as we are now able to use 100% of the material that would have been sent to landfill,” said Siegfried Wagner Jorge, marketing director at Kingspan Isoeste. “Through this initiative, we have shown that it is possible to re-use production waste and take it through a new process to provide a valid route and new product life.”
The company says it has already reduced the amount of waste it sends to landfill by 42% since 2020, and is aiming to reduce it to zero by 2030. It also hopes that it will help find ways to use end-of-life materials when they are removed from buildings.