Robert U Ayres, Ph.D. Sandos Professor of Management and the Environment Director, Centre for the Management of Environmental Resources, INSEAD and John Livernois, Ph.D. Professor and Chair, Department of Economics, University of Guelph have conducted independent environmental investigations into SPS. With regard to maritime structures, SPS has superior impact and puncture resistance compared to conventional designs and the elastomer also acts as a crack arrest layer. This enables superior protection of life at sea and also protection of cargoes, including hazardous cargoes. SPS eliminates secondary stiffening and all the associated connection details. This in turn reduces the number of corrosion and fatigue prone details enabling an extension in service life. The smooth surfaces of SPS also allow more efficient flushing of ballast tanks hence minimising residual sediments and the transfer of non-indigenous organisms.
SPS structures allow re-use of the SPS panels or complete recycling of the SPS constituents. At the end of a structure’s service life, SPS panels can be removed and simply re-used in another structure. Alternatively the panels can be separated into the two primary components of steel and elastomer. In this case the steel can be recycled using standard procedures and the elastomer can also be recycled, for instance, for use in new SPS panels. The elastomer core is inert and harmless so disposal is also a viable option, having minimal environmental impact: the European Waste Catalogue code for the elastomer is EWC 07 02 13: non-hazardous reacted polyurethane waste.