Recycling of Carbon Fiber Composites Using Chemical Treatment: Reaction Characterization and Optimization
Disposal of waste Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRPs), which are generally non-biodegradable, poses environmental problems. Consequently, effective recycling methods are required to make those materials sustainable. In this study, two recycling methods based on chemical treatment under atmospheric pressure, alkali digestion and oxidative digestion, have been investigated. First, correlations between resin properties and resin dissolution rate were analyzed by mixing amine cure agent with epoxy monomers that considered variations in crosslink density and resin functionality. Then, laminates made of carbon fibers and epoxy matrices were fabricated and recycled to evaluate properties of recovered carbon fibers. Lastly, prospective catalytic conditions were screened to accelerate resin dissolution rate. Results showed that alkali digestion and oxidative digestion were both effective in carbon fiber reinforced amine/epoxy composites recycling. Recovered carbon fibers retain intact surface topography and their retained tensile strength and modulus are similar to virgin fibers.
Author: Yijia Ma
Conference: SAMPE Seattle 2017