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Monday, 16 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies, Powder coatings

Being More Sustainable

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

In an interview with ECJ, Bjorn Karlsen Chairman, of CEPE’s Sector Group Powder Coatings, speaks about the current tasks the group is working on.

Björn Karlsen, CEPE

Quelle: Björn Karlsen

Björn Karlsen, CEPE

Quelle: Björn Karlsen

What has been done so far regarding LCA?

Bjorn Karlsen: The demand for Life Cycle data of construction elements is increasing as the ‘green building’ becomes ever more accepted. CEPE has run a Life Cycle screening study for powder on aluminium-outdoor frames. For that we compared different powders with different durability. The study covered ‘cradle to grave’, which means all the steps for producing the powdered frame, mounting it, removing it and recycling it. The outcomes are aimed at helping decision makers, such as architects. 

What are the results of the screening study?

Karlsen: We now have a first ‘stick in the ground’. For the first time we have gone through all the steps and materials in the process of a Life Cycle Analysis and have established the relative impact of each on a number of environmental categories: a format in which we can now variate the parameters and assess their effects on the environmental impact categories. Looking at the Global Warming Potential (GWP) or carbon footprint, the raw material production which equals aluminium (by far the biggest part) plus powder (a small part)) equals roughly 95% of GWP over the life time of the aluminium frame.The application process equals between 3-4 % of GWP. Applying a powder coating to extent the use of an aluminium substrate which represents such a huge amount of embedded carbon footprint makes very good sense from a sustainability perspective.  Cr6 has to be replaced in aluminium pretreatment systems.

What does that mean?
Karlsen: In Europe, 50% of the aluminium coating companies still use Cr6 in their pre-treatment. Under REACH Cr6 is a substance of very high concern and it has a sunset date: 21 September 2017. Overlooking the current situation, members of CEPE’s Powder Coatings Sector Group believe that the continued use of Cr6 cannot be defended. We as powder manufacturers try to raise the awareness with our customers and urge them to invest in the finding of a Chrome replacement.

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