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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/R80605/01
Title: Processing Recycled Carbon Fibre for High Grade Applications
Principal Investigator: Pickering, Professor SJ
Other Investigators:
Brooks, Dr R Walker, Professor GS Rudd, Professor CD
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Advanced Composites Group Ltd Aston Martin Cleanaway Ltd
Department: Sch of Mech Materials Manuf Eng Mgt
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 July 2002 Ends: 31 December 2005 Value (£): 174,811
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Environment
Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Carbon fibre is a high value material and in the manufacture of composites, significant proportions of scrap arise. This manufacturing scrap and scrap from end-of-life components is currently disposed of in landfill. Future legislation will require more recycling and so there is a need to develop new recycling techniques. A fluidised bed recycling process has already been developed at the University of Nottingham and has been shown to yield useful carbon fibre. These fibres are in the form of short, randomly oriented monofilaments. The aim of this proposal is to investigate methods for processing the recovered carbon fibre to make them suitable for reuse in polymer composites in high grade structural applications. This will involve investigating novel techniques for fibre handling downstream of the fluidised bed process to produce a fibre product in an aligned form suitable for reuse in polymer composites. Investigations will also characterise the quality of the recovered fibres and assess how this may be improved by control of processing conditions. The recovered carbon fibre will be manufactured into thermoset and thermoplastic composites and the performance evaluated relative to benchmark composites made from new carbon and glass fibre. Having evaluated the process in the laboratory, larger quantities of recovered carbon fibre will then be processed into a composite in collaboration with industry to demonstrate the benefits. The work will also involve investigations into suitable size reduction techniques for preparation of scrap before feeding into the fluidised bed.
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk