Recyclable Carbon Fiber Composites – The Future of Light Weight Electric Vehicles

S. Pastine
Connora Technologies,
United States

Keywords: carbon fiber, recycling, composite, high pressure resin transfer molding, automotive, cost reduction, manufacturing, epoxy, thermoset plastics

Summary:

The wide-scale adoption of composites for automotive applications will be contingent on effective cost-reduction strategies. The advent of High Pressure Resin Transfer Molding [HP-RTM] has helped move the thermoset composite industry toward this goal, enabling cycle times of minutes. However, the cost of composites remains relatively high due to the simple fact that thermosets are not recyclable. The efficient recycling and reintegration of composite waste can further reduce the cost of composites by 2.5-7.5%, depending on the amount of manufacturing waste generated. Connora Technologies is solving the recycling problem for the industry by re-engineering thermoset plastics. Connora has developed a series of high performance epoxy curing agents, called Recyclamines®, enabling the manufacturing of inherently recyclable thermoset composites. This presentation focuses on recyclable epoxy systems for use in HP-RTM processing, which can be used to manufacture recyclable carbon fiber parts for automotive applications. Processing and mechanical performance data will be provided for several different carbon fiber lay-up schedules, and benchmarked against conventional, non-recyclable systems. Additionally, details on recycling and reintegration of these composite materials will also be provided.