3A Composites develops tool for sandwich structure life cycle assessment

Schematic representation of the Hybrid Core Calculator.
Schematic representation of the Hybrid Core Calculator.

Investigation and evaluation of the environmental impacts of a given product or service are starting to gain importance in the composites industry.

The 3A Composites Hybrid Core Calculator is designed to perform a simplified life cycle assessment based on the ISO 14040 standard (Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Principles and framework). Life cycle data for the most common sandwich skins and core materials have been collected to calculate the environmental footprint of a sandwich structure. The environmental impacts are calculated for each phase of a product’s life cycle and measured in:

  • primary energy consumption (MJ);
  • greenhouse potential (CO2 equivalents);
  • water consumption (litres); and
  • other ecology indicators.

The aim of the Calculator is not to determine an absolute value of the impact, but to allow for comparison of different design options.

The Hybrid Core Calculator is currently offered as an additional service to customers of 3A Composites.

A feature about the 3A Composites Hybrid Core Calculator was published in the July/August 2010 issue of Reinforced Plastics magazine. You can read the complete feature here.