The DEFEAT project is funded by the Foundation for Research and Innovation (IDEK) under the Restart 2016 – 2020 programme to support research, technological development and innovation in Cyprus. The project team consists of research centres and universities both in Cyprus and abroad, companies, government agencies and representatives of directly interested parties and potential end users. The Frederick Research Centre is the contractor, while the coordinator and scientific manager of the project is Dimitris Nikolaides.
The general goal of the DEFEAT project is the conversion of waste from excavations, constructions and demolition into a new, innovative thermal insulation and fireproof material, which can be applied to building facades. At the present stage, the management of this waste in Cyprus seems to face several difficulties, due to the very small percentage of their recycling, but also the lack of suitable landfills. At the same time, there is a steady increase in the amount of such waste generated, which is due to the intense activity of the construction industry and reconstruction.
The DEFEAT project aims at the pilot development, through a thorough experimental study, of an innovative composite material from such waste, which will be characterised by low thermal conductivity, good mechanical properties and which at the same time will be resistant to fire exposure. The first critical technical problem to be addressed in the project is the optimisation of the waste separation process, in order to obtain “clean” materials that will be suitable for further recovery. For this purpose, a pioneering separation process will be implemented, based on the combination of image processing technologies, machine learning and robotics. The materials that will result from this innovative separation process will be used as a raw material for the development of the composite thermal and fireproof material, applying the geopolymerization technology. This material will be produced by two different methods: the conventional method of casting and the technology of 3D printing. Finally, an effort will be made by the public partners of the project to create an implementation framework for the utilization of this waste as a raw material in the construction industry.