Heterogeneous Thermoset/Thermoplastic Recycled Carbon Fiber Composite Materials for Second-Generation Composites


With an increase in the use of carbon fiber composites in the aerospace and automobile industry a collateral issue of what to do with end-of-life carbon fiber composites has risen. In this study, we successfully developed a second-generation composite using a heterogenous mixture of thermoset and thermoplastic recycled carbon fiber composites (CFCs). The recovered vinyl ester and epoxy CFCs (thermosets) were characterized using thermogravimetric analysis. Adhesive performance was evaluated through double lap shear tests by melt-bonding a thermoplastic polyether ether ketone (PEEK) CFC to either the thermoset epoxy or vinyl ester CFC. The waste carbon fiber composites were also mechanically milled and classified through screening techniques. The resulting milled materials were used to form and produce composite panels through high temperature compression molding. The influence of particle size and platen temperature were evalauted through mechanical testing. Results indicate that melt-bonding with the vinyl ester/CFC exhibited significantly higher lap shear strength values than that between epoxy/CFC and PEEK. Findings also show that adding thermoset CFCs to the thermoplastic system (PEEK) enhanced the flexural properties of composites.

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The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The authors gratefully appreciate the financial support by the Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation, Triumph Group and Zoltek Corporation. Thermoset CFCs were obtained from Zoltek Corporation (Bridgeton, MO, USA) and the PEEK/CFC were donated by Triumph Composites (Spokane, WA).

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Correspondence to Seyed Hossein Mamanpush.

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Mamanpush, S.H., Li, H., Tabatabaei, A.T. et al. Heterogeneous Thermoset/Thermoplastic Recycled Carbon Fiber Composite Materials for Second-Generation Composites. Waste Biomass Valor (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12649-021-01341-0

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  • Recycling
  • Carbon fiber composite
  • Thermoset composite