Carbon-fiber reinforcement through recycling
A Lower Saxony company is offering recycled continuous fibers made from carbon under the brand name CarboNXT. The solution is also attractively priced.27 Mar 2018 Roland Freist
The production of carbon fibers requires a great deal of energy. Although carbon fibers can be recycled, this process has to date proven extremely complex and expensive. CFK Valley Stade Recycling GmbH & Co. KG , based in Wischhafen an der Elbe, has, however, now developed a process that produces products that are even more cost-effective than virgin materials. The company leverages pyrolysis here, i.e. the thermochemical decomposition of the raw material at a high temperature, to produce the recycling material CarboNXT .
Carbon fibers are used in industry for a number of purposes, including for new composite plastics, a lightweight material in high demand in automotive production, for example. According to Managing Director Tim Rademacher , there is currently more than enough source material available, since the production of carbon fibers generates approximately 30% in waste. Globally, this totals some 30,000 tons; in Europe, the figure is approximately 10,000 tons. CFK Valley Recycling currently processes around 3,500 tons a year, thereby generating around 1,000 tons of CarboNXT. The company could increase production, but at present there is a lack of demand. Rademacher says that many companies still have misgivings about the recycling material.
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