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4/25/2011 | 1 MINUTE READ

Trek begins carbon fiber recycling with Materials Innovation Technologies

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After a three-month trial with carbon fiber recycler Materials Innovation Technologies, Trek Bicycle will now recycle carbon fiber trimmings, non-compliant molded parts and reclaimed warranty bike frames.

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Trek Bicycle (Waterloo, Wis., USA) announced on April 21 that it has instituted a full-scale carbon recycling program at its Waterloo-based U.S. manufacturing facility and is now recycling all scrap carbon fiber.

Through a partnership with Materials Innovation Technologies (MIT, Fletcher, N.C., USA) and its wholly owned subsidiary MIT-RCF, a South Carolina carbon fiber reclamation facility, Trek completed a three-month trial period to determine the viability of adopting recycling as an official part of the manufacturing process.

“Throughout the trial period we worked with Trek to show them how beneficial carbon recycling can be to their overall business practices,” said MIT’s president and CEO, Jim Stike. “Working with a world leader like Trek to help them become the first bicycle company to begin recycling carbon fiber is very exciting for us.”

Throughout the manufacturing process, Trek collects excess trimmings, non-compliant molded parts and combines it with select reclaimed warranty frames to send to MIT’s South Carolina facility to begin reclamation. Reclaimed carbon fiber is  being used in reinforced thermoplastic applications while research and development is ongoing for use in automotive, aerospace, medical, and recreational applications.

“One of the company’s major initiatives is that we will work to drive more eco-friendly processes into everything that we do,” said Trek senior composites manufacturing engineer James Colegrove. “Carbon fiber recycling holds massive potential not just for Trek, but the entire industry.”

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