HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
News
Materials & Assembly

Recycled Carbon Fibers Save Money

NO RATINGS
Page 1 / 2 Next >
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/3  >  >>
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Recycled plastics are in use
Ann R. Thryft   1/30/2012 12:00:18 PM
NO RATINGS

Recycled plastics of various kinds are in fact out there and are, in fact, being used. The whole industry hardly exists yet because it's in its infancy, volumes are quite low and thus it's relatively invisible. Bioplastics, another way of making sustainable plastics, is also pretty new, but much farther along. Most materials in bioplastics started out replacing low-end single-use consumer goods, not high-end engineering materials, and volumes of the latter are still low, but rising. I suspect something like that  might happen with recycled plastics. Yet at least one firm, Axion, has figured out how to make recycled plastics strong enough to build bridges that are made for Army tanks:

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=237384

And Boeing has sunk money into research on recycling CFRPs:

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=235280

So as far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out.


Buckley
User Rank
Iron
Great work, but mislead
Buckley   1/23/2012 6:56:54 AM
NO RATINGS
While this is nice work, it doesnt really solve any problems. This will never be an approprate treatment for post consumer waste. How do you think you will ever deal with the volumes of varied mixed materials components? 

This is merely a solution for some production waste where you can (to an extent) control what type of fibres are used in the final material. Prodcution processes are getting more efficient and are creating less waste. As a result there will be less avaialable waste for you to use in such a product. 

Material variability and continuity of supply. who is going to design a product around recycled fibres. You cannot guarentee the quality or a duration of supply of the same quality. The availability of materials is based on someones waste. Too risky I'm affraid. Finally cost. If yu consider the separation costs transport, recovery, treatment of related waste overheads, this makes recycled carbon fibres are already expensive, now you take them create a yarn and weave them too. All adding aditional cost which will bring you up close to virgin cost. Furthermore, today CF waste is waste and has no value. If it starts to be a potential raw material, it gains a value. At this point you recyclers will have to pay for it further increasing your material costs. Going to have to try hard to get anyone to touch these Im afraid. 

Finally, have you thought of the future? there is so much research going on to reduce the cost of virgin carbon fibres. I think by the time you guys are ready to offer something, there will already be cheaper CF around. Then who will you sell it to?

Also this is not recycling, its downcycling.

I cant see, how this is going to work long term, I hope someone has done their sums as to me it looks like a dead duck.

 

 

Jerry dycus
User Rank
Gold
Re: What's the source of the carbon fibers
Jerry dycus   1/20/2012 11:17:10 PM
NO RATINGS
 

Ann, Gordon and All,

  You can compare to whatever you want to but engineers are going with specs, costs of all the competition, not just what the maker wants to be compared with. A business that ignores this won't last long.  Those who use CF do so because they need the specs they pay dearly for or just want to claim CF hype.

If one uses it because it has CF, it's hype as FG/PET would be cheaper, better. Hype is fine as most US products are sold with it. But it's still hype. others call it fashion.

Recycling is only good if it can be done cost effectively. CF just isn't going to be cost effectively recycled when far cheaper FG is stronger, leaving only the hype market.

 Tell me an aircraft designer is going to use heavier recycled CF than lighter, stronger, cheaper FG/PET?  Would you pay more for less?

OT  A generator can easily be sound proofed in a pit or small shed easily.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Recycled carbon fibers and safety?
Dave Palmer   1/20/2012 6:22:56 PM
NO RATINGS
Inhalation risks associated with carbon fibers were studied back in the late '80s and early '90s (here is a link to a Department of Defense study).  The conclusion seemed to be that there were no particular health risks, other than the normal risks associated with any kind of airborne particulates.  The fibers are too big to be respirable, meaning they are not deposited in the lungs.

On the other hand, there is some evidence that inhalation of carbon nanotubes can be harmful.  This is still being studied.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: What's the source of the carbon fibers
Ann R. Thryft   1/20/2012 12:45:46 PM
NO RATINGS

Gordon, thanks for addressing the comments in detail.

Regarding comparisons and competition, there's only so much room in each of these posts we do. I reported on the comparison with virgin CF because that's the metric I hear about all the time and it's a simple and obvious one: how does the recycled material compare to the virgin version? That gives us an idea of its performance. And as Gordon points out, CF is also what the users in this market use. Readers are welcome to do their own research and make detailed comparisons with other types of materials. 

Regarding recycling: the whole point of recycling is, well, recycling instead of going to landfills. The performance characteristics of this carbon fiber material are better than previous attempts, possibly because they are mixed with recycled PET. In any case, if Boeing and others in industries that are about to start using large amounts of CFR composites are concerned enough to plunk money into recycling research, that sounds to me like it's a major problem, and that it's one they think they have a chance of solving. 


Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Recycled carbon fibers and safety?
Ann R. Thryft   1/20/2012 12:38:03 PM
NO RATINGS

I was also a little surprised to see the concerns about safety among commenters. I thought safety regulations are pretty well established in industrial environments, so that would not be much of a concern. IN any case, it's not the first critique I thought of nor would I think it's the most crucial.


Gordon Bishop
User Rank
Iron
Re: What's the source of the carbon fibers
Gordon Bishop   1/20/2012 11:04:08 AM
NO RATINGS
 

The fibres are aligned. With a 2" length you would expect slightly lower performance than is acheivable with continuous fibres. That's what we get.

The material is expected to be adopted by those who currently use carbon fibre, in applications that are stiffness-driven. From initial calculations it's likely to be at a should be at a lower price point than the equivalent virgin material, although not as little as half the price. We don't expect it to be able to compete with glass, and we're not targetting that.

 

Jerry dycus
User Rank
Gold
Re: What's the source of the carbon fibers
Jerry dycus   1/20/2012 10:27:35 AM
NO RATINGS
 

  Hi Gordon, Thanks for answering.

Hi all - I'm part of the team that has developed this method and material. Thanks for the postive comments - I thought that I'd address a couple of points:

Hype? Not at all. The source is recovered virgin fibre and the fibres are a couple of inches long. I can understand peoples' scepticism over the ability o recover the material without damage, but the guys working on that have done an amazing job. As for impregrating with PET, techniques already exit for doing that with continuous virgin CF - we simply use similar techniques.


--------------------  If the fibers are 2" long they are damaged. CF gets it's advantage of long fibers inline with each other.  How are your fibers laid out? Matt or inline?  

---------------------  You compare to CF which we who build don't. Instead we compare to others on the market, in this case would be glass fibers. How does your product stand compared to that?  It's strength/$ we look for.  What is your $/lb target?

The result is that the moulded parts have around 90% of the stiffness of a part moulding with virgin materials, and around 50% of the strength. Sure, that will limit some applications where part design is dominated by strength (eg pressul vessels), but in fact most parts are designed for stiffness and such a reduction in strength will not be a limiting factor in many cases.


-------------------  Those specs puts it with many other materials costing far less than CF. Can you met that pricepoint?

Both energy consumption and costs are lower with the recovery technique compared to virgin material. The material has the same safety characteristics as virin carbon fibre.


-------------------  Again you compare to a strawman, virgin CF, instead of your real competition of many other materials. Great for marketing but engineers, designers look at specs and test, then compare based on cost.

We see applications in a range of industrial sectors, particularly in auto and aero sectors, and we are working with a number of OEMs.


-----------------   Great, waiting to see it and it's price.

------------------ Can it be made in sheets and how thin? What glues/etc do you use to attach it?  I'm always looking for better materials. They just need to be better, reasonable cost.


Gordon Bishop
User Rank
Iron
Re: What's the source of the carbon fibers
Gordon Bishop   1/20/2012 9:53:08 AM
NO RATINGS
 

Hi all - I'm part of the team that has developed this method and material. Thanks for the postive comments - I thought that I'd address a couple of points:

Hype? Not at all. The source is recovered virgin fibre and the fibres are a couple of inches long. I can understand peoples' scepticism over the ability to recover the material without damage, but the guys working on that have done an amazing job. As for impregrating with PET, techniques already exist for doing that with continuous virgin CF - we simply use similar techniques.

The result is that the moulded parts have around 90% of the stiffness of a part moulded with virgin materials, and around 50% of the strength. Sure, that will limit some applications where part design is dominated by strength (eg pressure vessels), but in fact most parts are designed for stiffness and such a reduction in strength will not be a limiting factor in many cases.

Both energy consumption and costs are lower with the recovery technique compared to virgin material. The material has the same safety characteristics as virin carbon fibre.

We see applications in a range of industrial sectors, particularly in auto and aero, and we are working with a number of OEMs.

Jerry dycus
User Rank
Gold
Re: What's the source of the carbon fibers
Jerry dycus   1/19/2012 8:20:46 PM
NO RATINGS
 

        This sounds like hype to me.  If you only have 50% strength then even common e glass would be 60% stronger at less cost.  Remember CF only has a 10% advantage over S glass virgin.  I seriously doubt they can recycle CF without damaging it. Many times CF doesn't meet spec having lost 4 rudders on million $ racing sailboats during a stormy Fasnet race because of that.

        Thinking about it how would they wet out the CF with PET?  Certainly couldn't do long sheets of CF fabric. Hard enough even with very thin resins, much less PET.  If the fibers are under 1/2" long then the CF advantage is gone, no better than FG at much lower prices.

     Next I'd bet the strength is coming from the PET far more than the damaged CF.

       Just what are you saving with recycling CF, Carbon?   Far better would be burying it as stored C.  The resins are worthwhile to recycle into HC's feedstocks.

       Could be a great product if priced right, under $1.50/lb.  If you need strength/weight then FG is the way to go at that price even.

 

Page 1/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Lumus and eyeSight have partnered to create consumer-grade devices that offer all the prime functions of smart glasses without the bulk.
VisLab joins the autonomous car effort with the DEEVA prototype.
NASA and Boeing developed a huge, carbon composite cryogenic fuel tank for deep space missions, and started testing it last month. The 18-ft cryotank will enable heavy-lift launch vehicles to send both humans and robots into deep space.
Focus on Fundamentals -- a new Design News webinar series -- kicks off April 29 with How to Select Drives for Robotics Applications. Don't miss it!
Research and other advancements in the realms of robotics, diagnostic and treatment devices, nanotechnology, and medical implants may one day make humans superior versions of their natural selves.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service