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Results of a TPRC core research program on recycling

We are very happy to be able to publicly share some of the important results of a TPRC core research program on recycling of thermoplastic composite laminates.

The research has been performed at the ThermoPlastic composites Research Center in cooperation with the Production Technology research group of Professor Remko Akkerman (University of Twente). This research is part of a collaborative project led by TPRC and TPAC/Saxion University of Applied Sciences, with the involvement of GKN Fokker, Toray Advanced Composites, Dutch Thermoplastic Components, Cato Composite Innovations and Nido Recyclingtechniek. The financial support of the Dutch Organisation of Applied Research - SIA (grant SIA-RAAK 2014-01-72PRO) is gratefully acknowledged.

Read the article on recycling of thermoplastic composite laminates of our PhD student Guillaume Vincent; Shredding and sieving thermoplastic composite scrap: Method development and analyses of the fibre lenght distributions.

Abstract
Recycling of thermoplastic composites has attracted considerable attention in the recent years. Several recycling solutions include shredding scrap to centimetre-sized flakes to retain long fibres, followed by a remanufacturing step that prevents fibre breakage. Determining the exact fibre length distribution (FLD) for these routes is crucial, as it is of importance for the processibility of the material as well as the mechanical performance of the recycled parts. In this paper, novel analysis methods are introduced to calculate FLDs based on photographs of flakes. The reliability of the method and of the sampling was found to be high. The relation between flake size and FLD was studied, showing that offcut layup barely influences the FLD in comparison to flake size. The effects of shredding settings and sieving were studied, showing a strong correlation between machine parameters and FLD, whereas the offcut size was found to have no effect on FLD.

Read more about sustainable processes or take a look at our publications.

Contact us if you would like to receive more information on the recycling project.