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Building a market for recycled carbon fiber

Recycling uncured and cured carbon fiber was once a challenge, but that hurdle has been cleared. The difficulty we have now is in developing a market for what has become a mountainous amount of recycled material. CW's Carbon Fiber 2016 conference will address this issue.
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Recycling carbon fiber is not the challenge it once was, but finding a market for it is. CW's Carbon Fiber conference will take a closer look at this problem, Nov. 9-11 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

CompositesWorld's annual Carbon Fiber conference is coming up, Nov. 9-11 at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona. Co-chairs Arnt Offringa, director R&D at Fokker Technologies, and Andreas Wüllner, chairman of business unit, Composites – Fibers and Materials (CFM) at SGL Group and managing director of SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, have helped put together a strong program; the agenda for the conference is largely complete and available here

One of the focus areas of Carbon Fiber this year is composites recycling. More specifically, the emphasis will be on the development of a market for recycled carbon fiber (RCF). Indeed, the ability to recycle composites is no longer the hurdle it once was. There are a number of firms that have developed viable technologies for recycling of uncured and cure composite materials, of which there is much throughout the industry — particularly with the ramp-up of Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350-XWB production. What's needed now is a market into which to sell RCF. 

Carbon Fiber will feature a panel of coposites recyclers who will comment on their technology, recycling capabilities in general, and what's needed from the marketplace to make recycling a viable enterprise going forward. These panelists will be:

  • Frazer Barnes, ELG Carbon Fibre Ltd.
  • Mark Janney, Carbon Conversions Inc.
  • Geoffrey M. Wood, Composite Recycling Technology Center
  • Andrew Maxey, Vartega Carbon Fiber Recycling LLC 

Janney, of Carbon Conversions, notes in his abstract, "One of the key challenges in developing the carbon fiber recycling business is 'closing the loop' — that is, matching sources of fiber for recycling with markets for parts made from recycled fiber.  This is preferably done with the same customer. But, very often the companies with sources of fiber to recycle (e.g., edge trimmings and in-process scrap from prepreg molding operations) do not have a need for chopped fiber composite compositions. CCI has been successful in several markets to date; however, the availability of source material still outweighs the demand for our range of products."

Visit the Carbon Fiber website for more information about the conference, to view the agenda and to register.

Carbon Fiber 2016 is sponsored by Harper International, Izumi International, Kamitsu and Toho Tenax America. 

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