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Product-Process Design
Laboratory of Grenoble for sciences of conception, optimisation and production
Product-Process Design
Product-Process Design

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Analysis of recycling chains as a tool for material selection in design


Despite the efforts that are committed today for the accounting of environmental impacts in the industrial field and for the establishment of a circular economy, recycling cycles and end-of-life material degradation still are of little or no importance during product design. The parameters related to the recycling of products and their materials are still partially unknown and/or lack systematization. Therefore, they are not exploitable in the design process, especially during material selection.

This thesis will enable the integration of material recyclability in the design process, during the material selection phase. It will bring out the factors responsible for the success/failure/stagnation of material recycling chains and will address their interactions and evolution in time.


PhD candidate: Mauricio DWEK
Université de Grenoble, 2013
PhD supervisor: Peggy ZWOLINSKI

Research process

The research will be based on an analysis of the history of recycling chains, established from bibliographical registers and interviews with different actors of the end-of-life chain (government institutions, eco-organisms, collectors, separators, recyclers, machine builders and industrial users of recycled materials).

We will thus identify the parameters that define material recyclability, which we will study in order to elicit the technical and contextual elements (historical, political, economic, social and geographical) that have influenced the dynamics of the chains.

Expected results

The thesis aims to develop a model, tool and/or recommendations that will assist material selection based on recyclability. It will also promote the exchange of knowledge between designers and end-of-life actors.

Last update 2015.02.20

Date of update February 20, 2015

Université Grenoble Alpes