Manufacturing hybrid lightweight, high strength and glossy finish polymeric composites from marble and granite waste stream

Project Objectives

a.     Survey,  inventory on marble and granite wastes  availability/ generation, current utilization and recycling potential in the State of Rajasthan

  1. Feasibility study to use marble and granite waste for development of polymer based composites and understanding its material performance to potentially use as an alternative to wood/timber for building, construction and furniture industry.
  2. Fibre (Natural & synthetic fibre) incorporation with marble & granite waste and development of hybrid advanced composites “Marble Wood” as an architectural interior for transport system and other infrastructure.
  3. Testing, evaluation and validation of marble and granite waste reinforced composites.
  4. Prototype manufacturing, durability & LCA studies of marble wood composites, networking and interaction with industry for commercial exploitation, documentation, report preparation, dissemination of research finding and participation in exhibition & showcasing and Commercialization of marble wood composite technology.

Research Background

Marble occurs abundant in nature. It is used and mined at many places in India since early time. In India about 85% of marble production is received from Rajasthan and mostly all mining and processing activities are under operation around Udaipur and Makrana. India status on marble waste management, Environmental issues, necessity to this study. Rajasthan has more than 4000 marble mines and about 1100 marble processing units. The marble processing industry involves mines, processing plants for manufacturing walls tiles, floors tiles, articles, waste production and other secondary activities. The marble industry is now one of the very important industrial sectors in Rajasthan employed over one million people. The marble deposit in Rajasthan is estimated to be more than 1,231 million tones. The granite reserve is estimated to be 9190 m3.  The marble reserve in Rajasthan found in various colors and shades. Rajasthan possesses around 1,100 million tones of reserves of superior quality in 20 districts of the State leading largest in the country.

Marble waste slurry is produced at almost every operation and it has been disposed off nearby area. When it gets dried it causes air pollution and health hazard. The marble processing industry consumes huge water for its different operations for cooling and flushing different discharge. In these operations large volume of wastewater has been discharged and water pollution of the region is caused by discharging such marble slurry. Also dried air borne waste residues deposited on vegetation hampers their growth. Mines under operation abandoned mines, dumping sites, slurry waste sites, deposition of dried slurry site are major causes for pollution hazards in Marble industry. Huge quantity of marble is being released from marble cutting, polishing, processing and grinding. Improper handling and mismanagement of marble wastes create major environmental and ecological problem as it contaminates soil, ground water and dissipate air pollution and affect human health.

To safeguard the environment and efforts would be effectively utilize the waste produced during marble, granite extraction, cutting, grinding efforts are being made for recycling different wastes and utilize them in valuable applications. Granite and marble sawing powder wastes is widespread by-product of industrial processes in India. Generally these wastes pollute and damage the environment due to sawing and polishing processes. Accordingly, the amount of mining and processing waste has increased. Marble and granite waste is generally a highly polluting waste due to both its highly alkaline nature, and its manufacturing and processing techniques, which impose a health threat to the surroundings. The marble and granite industrial cluster in India is imposing an alarming threat to the surrounding communities.

The proposed project targets to demonstrate that marble and granite waste particulates can be used as a potential reinforcement and filler to synthesize lightweight composites, high strength composites, sandwich composites, hybrid composites with glossy finish using suitable polymeric binder / fibers system. The outcome of the proposed program is expected to show significant improvement in the composites with a flexibility of light and stiff components for various utility and also may open an avenue to beneficially exploit the abundantly available marble/granite resources as a potential raw materials in partially replacing glass fine composites and other petroleum based synthetic products in different engineering applications. The proposed hybrid composites would have tremendous scope in wide range of applications such as partition, flooring and ceiling, load bearing and non-load bearing walls as architectural panels in construction industries. The possible uses of these composites in construction, housing and locomotive applications are berth panels, seat support panels, doors, roofing panels, partition and furniture. There is great scope for use of the proposed hybrid marble/granite waste composites in consumer goods and other strategic applications. The hybrid composites would be free from insects, fungus, termite and corrosion attack. The composites proposed in this research program will have significant role for commercial use in composite industry for sustainable development as well as address effective use of Marble and granite wastes and avoid environmental pollution.

The scope of proposed research aims to achieve dual benefits to maximize the utilization of marble and granite waste particulates generated in mass quantity in India with suitable binder / fibers system for making light weight, high strength, glossy finish green composites, which can be used as an alternative materials for timber or conventionally available timber substitute materials, plastic and GRP composites. The proposed research program and their expected outcome have great scientific, technical and industrial relevance to meet the current and future challenges on hybrid green composites. 

Progress made from December 2016

  • Survey and data collection of  Marble and granite waste samples collection from different parts of Rajasthan.
  • Procurement of raw materials such as polymer, natural fibres
  • Processing of marble and granite wastes
  • Process for recruitment of Project Staff
  • Feasibility study, synthesis and development of marble waste particulates reinforced composites

Panels made out of Marble wastes for possible application in wall tiles and floor tiles

Sandwich composite made out of Marble wastes for possible application in partition wall

Fibre and Particulate Reinforced Hybrid Polymeric Composite as Architectural Interior for Building Construction Materials 

Project Objectives

Phase I

  • To develop lightweight hybrid wood substitute green composites with glossy finish using waste particulates and fibres.
  • Property evaluation and validation of proposed composite’s properties with target to use as architectural interior wall panels in construction sector.

Phase II

  • Up-scaling and full scale prototype manufacturing of  hybrid wood substitute  green composites, technology transfer, commercialization and create new industries

Significant Achievements

Mobilisation of work, arrangement of raw materials (chemicals, polymer, particulates, polymer).  Process in preparation and procurement of major equipment such as Digital compression molding machine, Mixing system, raw materials processing equipment. Fabrication of Mould, calendaring system, mixing machine. Lab scale experiments and process development for manufacturing waste particulates and jute textile fibres reinforced hybrid glossy finish green composite materials. Cost benefit analysis of hybrid glossy finish green composite materials with comparison to commercially available synthetic materials such as particle board, MDF, ply wood, teak wood. R&D is in progress for further improving the process parameters, testing evaluation of hybrid composites performance and raw materials processing.

The cost benefit analysis indicate that Hybrid composites developed in the present study is  four times stronger than teak wood and about 30% cheaper than teak wood. As compared to synthetic wood, it reveals that the hybrid composites are about seven times better in quality but the price is almost the same. Hybrid composites are highly durable &  resistance  to weather, moisture, corrosion, termite & fungus and fire self-extinguishing nature.

Hybrid glossy finish green composite  doors ( 35 numbers)  have been manufactured in pilot scale (2 metre x1metre x0.3metre). About 15number of full scale doors have been filled in the renovated admin building  in CSIR AMPRI  Bhopal as a demonstration trials.  Fabrication of improved quality of architectural cladding panels have been completed. To popularize and attract industrial client and customer for possible technology commercialization, a Table Calendar 2017 was prepared highlighting the  significance of hybrid composite panel products and were disseminated.

CSIR- AMPRI Bhopal has organized  an “Industry Meet – 2016 ” in association with  Govindpura Industries Association (GIA) Bhopal to ease the commercialization of Advanced Hybrid Green Composites Technology on 8th Nov., 2016 at GIA Convention Hall, Bhopal.  The workshop aim to create more opportunities for existing industries, start-up industries and entrepreneurs. Networking with industries for commercial exploitation in progress.  Four industries clients, entrepreneurs, start-up are networking with us in last four months for possible technology licensing, Out of which one industry namely M/S. Eco-Bright Sheet Co. Pvt Ltd Bhilai from Chhattisgarh has licensed CSIR-AMPRI Bhopal Hybrid Composite Technology namely “Advanced Hybrid Composite Wood and Wood Substitute Materials (AC- Wood)” on 7March 2017. Shri Suresh Kumar Sahu, MD, Eco-Bright Sheet Pvt Ltd Bhilai, CG along with his officials and technicians consisting of nine members have been arrived CSIR-AMPRI Bhopal on 21March2017 and they are taking complete  training from AMPRI Bhopal for commercial production of Hybrid Composites and setting-up industry in Bhilai CG.

Advanced Hybrid Composite Wood and Wood Substitute Materials (AC- Wood) developed at CSIR-AMPRI Bhopal and have been demonstrated for use as floor tiles, door, partition panels, false ceiling

CSIR- FTT Project outcome

Samples and full scale prototype materials / panels of  different colour, thickness texture, surface finish have been fabricated and pictures of the same have been shown below. 


Glossy finish hybrid green composites panels developed                                 Glossy finish hybrid green composites corrugated roofing sheets

using flyash particulates  reinforced in jute cloth


Hybrid green composites for possible use in architectural partition panels


Hybrid green composites sandwich panels                                                         Hybrid green composite panel  with new texture

(Skin sunmica and core is hybrid composite)


       Centre table made of hybrid composite                                     

                                                                                                                      Hybrid composites possible use in wall clock watch stand


Hybrid composites door, installed / fitted in CSIR-AMPRI renovated admin building for demonstration


Hybrid composites door, installed / fitted in CSIR-AMPRI renovated admin building for demonstration