Thu 01, Nov 2018
TPAC (ThermoPlastic Composites Application Center) and TPRC (Thermoplastic Composites Research Center) have developed a new recycling process for thermoplastic composites which is said to offer high mechanical performance and design freedom at lesser cost.
Called as the TPC-Cycle project, it is said to target the production scrap by developing a recycling route for high-end and high volume markets. This recycling process retains the high mechanical properties of thermoplastic composites and also reduces the overall environmental effect at economical cost. The project comprises the process, starting from waste collection to shredding, reprocessing and application.
TPAC and TPRC research centers are said to have developed and run this project in collaboration with industrial partners for every step in the value chain, from material, manufacturing, design and application: GKN Aerospace Fokker Business, TenCate Advanced Composites (Toray Group), Cato Composite Innovations, Dutch Thermoplastic Components and Nido RecyclingTechniek. The project is facilitated by Saxion and with the financial support of Regieorgaan SIA, part of The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).
The recycling solution is said to feature shorter cycle times, net-shape manufacturing and allows the production of complex shapes. As per TPAC, it acquires High mechanical properties by retaining long fiber lengths.
TPAC and TPRC researchers are working to understand the relationship between the mechanical properties of recycled material and the transformation of the material during all processing steps. Currently, three demonstrators are being developed to show the application in a high value market by an aerospace part and high-volume market by a safety shoe nose cap.
Thermoplastic composites have found huge usage in multitude of industries for ages. With the advent of new developments and applications which can withstand high temperatures, they are increasingly finding usage in high-end industries, most prominently in Aerospace. According to Stratview Research, the global aerospace thermoplastic composites market is likely to offer significant opportunities over the next five years to reach an estimated value of US$ 636 million in 2023.
The growth in application and development of thermoplastic composites has resulted in increase of scrap in high volumes. Hence, it becomes necessary to introduce specific recycling solutions to restore the high commercial value of thermoplastic composites, as well as for legal and environmental reasons.
News and Image source: TPRC