Cannon (Borromeo, Italy) discussed the results of its CRESIM (Carbon Fiber Recycling by Special Impregnation) project during the EXPO 2015 International Exhibition on Oct. 7, 2015 in Milan, Italy. The CRESIM project looked to develop composite parts manufactured from recycled carbon fiber.
The CRESIM pilot plant at the Cannon Afros R&D Laboratory in Caronno Pertusella, north of Milan, Italy, can handle three different technologies for the impregnation of recycled carbon fiber using epoxy, vinyl ester or polyurethane:
- Liquid lay down: a thin layer of resin is poured by a robot onto the recycled carbon fiber mat in open mold.
- HP RTM: the resin is injected into the mat already compressed in a closed mold, at high temperature and under vacuum conditions.
- Gap injection: the mat of recycled carbon fiber is impregnated in a closed mold while maintaining partial vacuum conditions and a clearance of about 1 mm between the two mold halves.
More than 10 different parts have been developed in the 42-month duration of the project, including hundreds of test samples for the characterization of the formulations and of different types of recycled carbon fiber. The parts include satellite dishes for defense communications, a skateboard for sport and leisure applications, automotive parts for German vehicles and Japanese bikes and a hollow part for the arm of a packaging robot working at very high speed.
Cannon says the processes and technologies developed for the CRESIM project demonstrated a reduced process time, good appearance and mechanical performances, as well as important environmental benefits due to the lightness of the parts and for the energy and cost savings resulting from the reuse of the carbon fiber.