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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K026348/1
Title: EXHUME - Efficient X-sector use of HeterogeneoUs MatErials in Manufacturing
Principal Investigator: Leeke, Professor GA
Other Investigators:
Savage, Dr L Ghita, Professor O Tiwari, Professor A
Mativenga, Professor PT
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Airbus Operations Limited EnginSoft UK Ltd Kirton Kayaks Ltd
Lanner Group Ltd Meggitt PLC National Composites Centre
Technology Strategy Board (Innovate UK) TWI Ltd
Department: Chemical Engineering
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: IDEAS Factory Sandpits
Starts: 01 March 2013 Ends: 03 April 2016 Value (£): 1,416,867
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt Waste Minimisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Composite materials represent the future landscape for many industries. The possibility of combining better mechanical strength and reduced weight make composites the material of choice in transportation allowing unique design and functionalities in combination with high fuel efficiency. However, the increased use of composites, automatically leads to waste, either end-of-life or manufacturing waste. It is estimated that in the EU by 2015 end of life composite waste will reach 251,000 tonnes and production waste will achieve 53,000 tonnes. The composites industry, (in particular carbon fibre) is under increasing pressure to provide viable recycling technology for their materials. This is the case because the European Commission has controlled landfill and incineration of these materials.

Through research and development of novel recycling and re-manufacture processes, this EXHUME project will provide a step-change in composites resource efficiency. These composite materials evoke difficult scientific and technical recycling challenges due to the mixed nature of their composition. The project will demonstrate to the waste industry, vital re-manufacturing science and chemical/process engineering. It will develop the first data sets and exemplars of mixed composite processing and associated resource footprints that can be used to drive the future of scrap re-use across industrial sectors.

This project is pioneering in that it:

i) Is the first cross-sector research-inspired use of heterogeneous scrap material in manufacture.

ii) Develops novel transformation technologies to process thermoset and thermoplastic composites.

iii) Develops a fundamental understanding of microstructure-property relationship in scrap material and in manufacturing process science.

iv) Provides vital support to companies to exploit the scrap re-manufacturing technology.

v) Evaluates the energy and resource efficiency of composite, re-processing, re-use and re-manufacture assessing the environmental impact and business case.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk