In the aerospace industry the reinforced composite materials are more and more demanded, where the end-of life (EoL) of the final product aspect is very debated point nowadays. The thermoplastic materials play a key role because of their recycle properties. This fact can bring about a challenge to design recycling techniques to extend the EoL of the reinforced composite parts. However, any of this current recycling methods can recover by 80% of the thermoplastic (TP) fibre and ensure the acceptable mechanical properties of the rCF (recycled carbon fibre).
The project will provide a solution by developing a recycling method for the key process steps: scrapping by cutting mechanic, automatic deposition and compression moulding manufacturing. The selection of the most suitable recycling process will be based on the previous studies performed by the partners and a comparison with the state of the art of the TP recycling techniques. Then, the scrap material obtained in UD tape format (50x6.0.15mm3) will be deposited automatically with a robot collaborative resulting a preform panel which will be manufactured by compression moulding means. The automation advantage will allow to reduce the labour cost and the manual defects. The estimated cost per kilo of the scraped material will be 0.37€/kg, a very competitive cost for a real alternative to a high cost material (>30€/kg).
The consortium consists of all key players that will play a future role in the recycling and manufacturing of TP rCF composites. AIMPLAS will play a leading role in the consortium as far as the recycling methods in thermoplastic composites is concerned. This knowledge will be complemented by TEKNIKER with a vast experience in experience in the design and manufacturing of special cutting tools.
The project will conclude with the environmental and economical LCA analysis of the innovative process proposed and an eco-design guideline of recommendations for the scalability of the process in an industrial level.