phd project

Thermoplastic Composites Cycle

Start / End:

September 2015 to September 2019

Contact

TPRC
Palatijn 15
7521 PN Enschede
P.O. Box 770
7500 AT Enschede
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 888773815
E-mail: guillaume.vincent[a]tprc.nl

University of Twente
Faculty of Engineering Technology
Chair of Production Technology
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands
E-mail: g.a.vincent[a]utwente.nl

 Funding

This project is financed by the Dutch Organisation for Applied Research – SIA, through the project grant SIA-RAAK 2014-01-72PRO. Several organisations are also financially involved in this project: Fokker Aerostructures, TenCate Advanced Composites, Cato Composites Innovation, Dutch Thermoplastic Components, Nido Recycling Techniek, Saxion Hogeschool and TPRC.

Motivation

One of the many advantages of thermoplastic composites (TPC) over their thermoset counterparts is the ability to easily recycle them. While fibres need to be reclaimed before reuse in thermoset composites (TSC), TPC can be re-melted to produce new components. On one hand, recycling loops of TPC are more direct and are thus more environmentally friendly than TSC. On the other hand, fibre reclamation process can degrade them. This induce a larger down-cycling compared to TPC.

Introduction

TPC were introduced few decades ago and their market share have been growing ever since. Production waste (which come in form of prepregs or consolidated offcuts) are now becoming significant due to TPC growth and are an ongoing research topic. However, extensive recycling projects on these materials are limited and the knowledge on recycling routes for consolidated waste is still missing. Therefore, it is necessary to study complete recycling loops for this waste and to develop the missing knowledge regarding the involved processes, from shredding to conversion.This knowledge will be thereafter used to develop a viable business case with the help of the industrial partners involved in this project.

Objective

This project aim to develop a recycling loop for TPC production waste while having some goals in mind:

  • Minimize the down-cycling induced by the different process steps. This can be obtained by keeping fibres as long as possible while the processibility is maintained.
  • Limit the environmental impact involved in the process steps, from waste collection to the conversion.