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Carbon Fiber Recycling

One of the key technologies for saving natural resources and for reducing emissions, e.g. in the fields of mobility (e.g. aerospace and automotive) and power generation (e.g. wind power), is the application of carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) as a lightweight structural material.  

Carbon fiber life cycle

rezyklierte CarbonfasernThe increasing demand for large-scale applications of CFRP requires the development of high- quality process chains for recycling of carbon fibers, due to economic and ecological aspects as well as legal regulations. The recycling strategies have to consider both the recovery of recyclables from CFRP production and processing, and the recycling of end-of-life CFRP structures. The goal of these activities is to establish a resource-efficient and sustainable life cycle of carbon fibers.  

Fiber-matrix separation processes

rezyklierte CarbonfasernFor the recovery of carbon fibers from thermoset or thermoplastic matrices, various separation processes (mechanical, thermal and chemical processes) appear to be eligible. The research group "carbon fiber recycling" investigates new and innovative fiber-matrix separation processes as well as more conventional ones, and contributes to the development of high-quality recycled products. Our main focus is on discovering correlations between process parameters of the fiber-matrix separation, properties of the recycled carbon fibers (in terms of mechanical properties and chemical composition of the fiber surface) and properties of the CFRP materials made from recycled carbon fibers.

Interdisciplinary approach

The challenges that are linked to carbon fiber recycling are versatile and do not only affect material science issues but also economic and resource strategic aspects. For this reason, the research group "carbon fiber recycling" is in close co-operation with the Institute of Materials Resource Management (MRM) at the University of Augsburg, which combines the fields of materials science, resource management and resource strategy in an interdisciplinary approach.

Contact Person:

Wolfgang Müller

Group members:

Anna Schneller

Judith Moosburger-Will

Alexander Spanier