Recovery of carbon fibers from polymeric compounds
Carbon fibers reinforced plastics (CFRP) owe their widespread use in the aerospace and automotive industry thanks to their superior mechanical properties, low weight and resistance to corrosion but have generated an increasingly wide flow of waste. The present invention proposes an economic method for recovering the fibers while maintaining their superior properties.
The method, tested on carbon fibers reinforced composite materials from end-of-life products and scraps from the automotive and aeronautical sector, involves a phase of degradation of the polymer matrix of the composites and a phase of fiber recovery by washing with water. The development of the process continues and integrates studies and patents previously carried out by the authors on the recovery of carbon fibers from composite materials. The use of low cost reagents and the ability to recover high quality fibers allow to overcome the limits of traditional processes, normally expensive being energy-consuming, not very sustainable from an environmental point of view and aimed at recovering poor quality fibers, which are difficult to be reused. The process also lends itself to being applied to the most varied types of composite materials and to the recovery of fibers other than carbon.
- Applicability of the process to a wide range of composite materials;
- possibility of recovering fibers other than carbon;
- production of new products that can be used in the naval, aerospace, energy, automotive and construction industries.
- Cost-effective recovery of carbon fibers;
- high quality of the recovered fibers;
- use of low consumption and low cost reagents; application of an environmentally sustainable process.