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Ground-breaking NCC Research Proving Recycled Composites Can Be Used in New Industry Applications

Jul 30,2021

Carbon fibres extracted from vertical tail plane after the resin has been removed

The project has successfully extracted carbon fibre from two Airbus A320 vertical tail planes that had reached the end of their service lives, using a pyrolysis process. The reclaimed fibres will now be processed and configured into a fabric format that can be used with liquid resin composite manufacturing processes. The new material combination will be assessed and characterised for its mechanical performance, before being used to manufacture a wheelchair ramp against design criteria from the rail sector.

The demonstrator will show the cross-sector application possibilities for end-of-life composites, with the learnings from this case study being taken forward and transferred to other products in sectors such as construction, rail, automotive and more.

Dr. Enrique Garcia, Chief Technology Officer at the NCC, said:

The NCC is at the forefront of the use of advanced composites, working with industry to anticipate the future needs and applications across the sectors. The diverse consortia involved in this project highlights the near-term challenges being faced across a number of industries, and the importance of our work to find sustainable solutions for end-of-life composites. This initiative is successfully developing the technologies required to overcome these challenges, paving the way for a new supply chain of recycled composites, allowing more industries to make use of their unique, beneficial properties at a lower cost.

The Core Research programme is a cross-sector initiative involving the NCCs Member organisations that identifies the biggest challenges currently being faced by industry and solves them through collaborative research and development.

In partnership with the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), the NCC also leads the Sustainable Composites initiative. Through this programme, the NCC works with companies of all sizes to create a more sustainable future utilising the benefits of composite materials and applications.

Composite material is the most expected material in modern aviation aircraft. The development of its whole life cycle, such as material selection, molding, processing, assembly and recycling, affects the development of aircraft. Under this background, the 7th Annual Aeronautical Materials and Manufacturing Technology International Forum 2021 will be held on November, 2021, in Shanghai. You are welcome to participate.

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