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Compliance and Technical Assistance Program

CTAP > Fiber Reinforced Plastic Manufacturing > Calculating Emissions from Fiber Reinforced Plastics Sources Calculating Emissions from Fiber Reinforced Plastics Sources

There have significant changes in environmental regulations for fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) product manufacturers. In March of 1998, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) removed the AP-42 emission factors for this industry because the factors significantly underestimated emissions from FRP layup activities. In working with the Composite Fabricators Association (CFA), IDEM created the following emissions model titled "CFA Unified Emission Factor Table for Open Molding" to calculate emissions for air permitting. These emission factors were initially created in April 1999. An addition to add gelcoat non-atomized application was made in July 2001. The CFA is now known as the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA).

This model enables a facility to take into account emission reductions from pollution prevention techniques such as flowcoating, vapor suppressed resins, and low styrene resins/gelcoats. With the use of one or more of these techniques, many manufacturers have been able to meet permit limits even with the change in the emission factor. At the same time, manufacturers using these pollution prevention techniques are actually reducing their emissions to the air as well as reducing worker exposure to styrene.

This model will also allow you to calculate the change in emissions due to the use of CFA controlled spray. If you are using this model to calculate emissions for regulatory purposes, such as IDEM's emissions inventory, you cannot take into account the controlled spray factor unless you have IDEM approval.