Organizing the Circular Economy Through A Network
of LSAM Microfactories Recycling Ocean Plastics
Co-funded by Vinnova - Sweden's Innovation Agency, Production2030 and Formas; OCEAN-LSAM lays the foundation for tomorrow's global network of circular economy microfactories producing large products designed by Swedish industry and produced from local recycled polymer waste streams through large-scale additive manufacturing (LSAM) equipment supplied by Swedish industry.
The project is divided into five Work Packages (WPs).
WP1- Recycling of Ocean Polyamide Waste for LSAM
Led by RISE-Research Institutes of Sweden, WP1 produces a qualified recycled ocean polyamide (PA6) waste composite for LSAM from end-of-life fishing nets compounded with waste fillers from Swedish industry, selecting the material composition that best meets demands of industry partners and the LSAM process while comparing it to virgin plastic materials.
WP2- Design & Production with LSAM
Also led by RISE, WP2 develops an initial methodology for LSAM of the recycled ocean polyamide composite from WP1. This WP builds on previous Vinnova/Produktion2030 projects and requires a high degree of research-industry interaction to ensure successful printing, optimization of the process, and qualification and testing of the product.
WP3- Computational Model for LSAM
Led by RISE, WP3 develops an initial numerical simulation model for LSAM through identifying and collecting the relevant LSAM data and developing and validating an initial simulation model using the WP1 material characteristics and WP2 printed parts.
WP4- Microfactory & Communication
With Chalmers leading this WP, WP4 creates an industry consortium for the follow-up Step 2 project (more information on Background page). WP4 involves data collection to develop the circular economy microfactory concept using recycled polymer waste streams, recruiting of companies, and development of use cases across sectors as well as dissemination through webinars and workshops.
WP5- Project Management & Application
WP5 is led by Chalmers and includes day-to-day project management, administration, reporting and WP progress monitoring and control in addition to the writing of the Step 2 application.
A Brief Description of The Recycling Process
First, the end-of-life fishing nets are gathered and sorted by different attributes, primarily color.
Shredding & Compounding
Second, the fishing nets undergo shredding to make them fine enough to compound and make small pellets that are the material for the LSAM 3D-printer.
Third, the LSAM robot prints the desired product, using the pellets transformed from the fishing nets.
Lastly, the final product, which is in this case - furniture, receives the final touches to demonstrate that fishing nets that once served their purpose in the fishing industry now have a new one.