New recycling route for thermoplastic composites
TPRC and TPAC developed a new recycling process for thermoplastic composites offering high mechanical performance and design freedom at low cost. With the growth of applications and production of thermoplastic composites, the amount of generated scrap increases and reaches substantial volumes. Considering the high commercial value of this material as well as legal and environmental reasons, the development of specific recycling solutions is therefore of interest.
The TPC-Cycle project targets production scrap by developing a recycling route for high-end and high volume markets. The objective is to retain the high mechanical properties of thermoplastic composites and reduce the overall environmental impact at affordable cost. The project includes the process from waste collection to shredding, reprocessing and application. It is developed in collaboration with industrial partners for every step. The recycling solution features short cycle times, net-shape manufacturing and enables the production of complex shapes. High mechanical properties are obtained by retaining long fibre lengths. The following video highlights the various processing steps and some advantages of such a solution.
Researchers in this project work on the understanding of the relation between the mechanical properties of recycled material and the transformation of the material during all processing steps. Three demonstrators are currently being developed to show the application in a high value market by an aerospace part and high volume market by a safety shoe nose cap.
Research centres TPAC and TPRC run this project in collaboration with industrial partners in the value chain, from material, manufacturing, design and application: GKN Aerospace Fokker Business, TenCate Advanced Composites (Toray Group), Cato Composite Innovations, Dutch Thermoplastic Components and Nido RecyclingTechniek. The project is facilitated by Saxion and with the financial support of Regieorgaan SIA, part of The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).
For more information about the TPC-Cycle project, please click here.