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New project on recycling of TPCs

TPRC has joined the Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI) as an academic partner per March 2022. DPI is sponsoring the project “ODIN” in which we will be working on the recycling of thermoplastic composites (TPCs) together with the University of Twente.

ODIN, or “OptimiseD matrix and fIbre treatmeNt for high performance thermoplastic composites recycling”, will build further on the recycling technology that was developed in the TPC-Cycle project.

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TPC Cycle recycling route

TPC-Cycle recycling route for continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastics

The new project ODIN aims for:

  • Understanding the major effects of matrix degradation on the structure and performance of recycled TPCs;
  • Identification and understanding of mechanisms for matrix modification to improve processing and structural performance of recycled TPCs;
  • Optimizing the mixing process of waste material for structural performance of recycled TPCs (retaining maximum fiber length, fiber content and homogeneity);
  • Demonstrating the feasibility of the developed approach by means of compression molded parts of recycled TPCs of high performance and low variability.

ODIN approach to high performance thermoplastic composite recycling

Enabling (more) circular use of high performance TPCs requires: (1) a clear view on the occurring degradation mechanisms and their effect on the performance of a recycled material and (2) a robust route towards recycled materials with predictable, reproducible and competitive performance. This requires a thorough life cycle analysis combined with a market study (identifying the competition of current non circular applications), including the technological factors (required material specifications and occurring degradation processes) and economical aspects (life cycle cost). It further implies that the state of the material needs to be monitored and controlled, degraded properties may need to be repaired or upgraded during the recycling process and homogeneity must be optimized. This will be addressed in four work packages.

ODIN approach

A PhD candidate will perform the scientific work at the University of Twente, with a focus on the polymer physics and material performance. TPRC supports the project with the development and industrialization of the low shear mixing technology required for the compounding of the recycled material.

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