The huge leaps in the development of carbon fibre composites in recent years has made it necessary to introduce new manufacturing techniques that enable the reuse of these fibres after the end of their useful life.
Through the rGENERA project, AITEX aims to generate knowledge towards obtaining recycled carbon fibre thermoplastic composites with medium-high mechanical performance using staple fibre spinning technologies. The adaptation of these technologies will help the reindustrialisation of the staple fibre processing and spinning textile industry in the Valencian Community and in Spain, diversifying the traditional markets.
This is a broad area of research, with great potential for innovation that will contribute to implementing a new circular economy model in the composites industry, replacing the current unsustainable linear economy model and the problems of accumulation in landfills posed by this type of material.
In order to improve the processing of composite materials, rGENERA is committed to the combination of recycled carbon fibre with thermoplastic polymer fibres, which have shorter processing times and do not require controlled storage conditions. This will combine with the opportunity of dispensing with the different stages of curing and enable reprocessing, melt bonding and reuse, opening the door to new processing and production techniques not possible with the use of thermosetting resins.
The main objective of rGENERA is the reuse of carbon fibres to create textile products which are subsequently destined for the manufacture of thermoplastic composites through carding, spinning and weaving.
In order to achieve the objective within the framework of rGENERA,, the following specific objectives are proposed:
- Optimisation of fibre opening and carding processes with recycled carbon fibre.
- Creating and optimising hybrid yarns of recycled carbon fibre and thermoplastic matrices from various staple fibre spinning processes.
- Creating and optimising recycled carbon fibre and thermoplastic matrix nonwovens using carding technology (Drylaid) and various consolidation techniques.
- Development and production of woven fabrics with different weaves from hybrid yarns of recycled carbon fibre and thermoplastic matrix.
- Development and characterisation of prototypes from thermoplastic composites based on recycled carbon fibre with the developed woven and non-woven textile structures.
The rGENERA project will produce textile structures based on recycled carbon fibres and thermoplastic fibres, which can subsequently be used to manufacture thermoplastic composites with medium-high mechanical performance.
The core of the project is the carding process by means of which the following types of textile structures can be obtained from thermoplastic fibres and recycled carbon fibres:
- Tapes and hanks for use in the development of hybrid yarns from staple fibre spinning techniques. These yarns will be woven on looms into different structures and weaves to maximise their mechanical properties.
- The production of non-woven veils, which by means of various consolidation techniques will enable the production of non-woven fabrics based on recycled carbon fibre.
The different woven and non-woven textile structures obtained will then be employed to create prototypes using thermoforming techniques, to characterise the mechanical properties of the composites obtained based on recycled carbon fibre and a thermoplastic matrix.
This project is funded by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball de la Generalitat Valenciana, through IVACE.
- Grant number: IMAMCI/2021/1
- More information: NON-ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES PLAN
- Year: 2021
- Status: In progress
- Entity: IVACE