carbon fiber

Siemens, Audi and BMW Recycle The Used Carbon Fiber

Author: Hitechpedia   |   
Date: 11.06.2013   |   

The aircraft manufacturing, naval industry and the auto industry are few of the industrial fields where the carbon fibers are widely used. This composite material is made out of woven carbon fibers and a polymer matrix material. It is incredibly lightweight, yet three times stronger than the steel. It is highly expensive, yet from now on it can be recycled without any harm towards the environment.


The Siemens specialists are currently developing some new carbon fiber recycling procedures that can retain its properties to the greatest extent possible. Therefore, the Siemens engineers cooperate with specialists from Audi, BMW, SGL Carbon, Neenah-Gessner, Voith Composites, the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics and the Bifa Environmental Institute at the first research center for the carbon fiber recycling techniques.


The first procedure tested in the MAIrecycling center is called solvolysis. The resin component of the carbon fiber is heated under pressure at 200 degrees Celsius and then is converted to low molecular-weight soluble alcohols with the help of water. Any hazardous solvents are eliminated, so that the process is clean and eco-friendly.


The resulted material retains its shape and its fibers remain intact, which means that it can be immediately further processed.


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