FibreLoop: Closing the Loop on Automotive Carbon Fibre Prepreg (UK/USA)

Lead Participant: Netcomposites Limited

Abstract

Our vision is to upcycle waste carbon fibre into high-performance injection moulding pellets.

Currently, waste carbon fibre from weaving and processing has little value as there are few viable methods to re-use the materials and to utilise the still significant properties that remain in the fibres. At the same time a potentially huge benefactor of carbon fibre technology, the automotive industry, cannot viably use it due to the high cost of the material and the techniques used to mould it.

Therefore we will utilise the reclamation techniques developed by Vartega Inc and combine it with the novel pellet manufacturing technique of Coventive Composites to produce a high volume, high-performance material with an attractive cost/performance profile for automotive applications.

This will reduce the carbon fibre scrap waste stream and low-cost recycled carbon fibre will be utilized in vehicle light-weighting applications to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions.

The innovation within this project is in the chemical process to extract the carbon fibres from resin prepregs and in the use of discontinuous fibres for a continuous pultrusion process to make pellets. Combined, these two innovations will result in a rare case of waste materials being utilised to create a high-performance material.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Netcomposites Limited, Chesterfield £181,227 £ 126,859
 

Participant

Far UK Ltd £91,529 £ 64,070
University of Sheffield, United Kingdom £81,501 £ 81,501

Publications

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