October 16, 2014
Most manufacturers collect a significant amount of scrap. Whether it is cloth, plastic, metal, or composites, leftovers can cause a mounting waste to landfills. Scrap pieces are the result of overproduction, defects, and excess material. This type of scrap can take up acres of ground, allowing chemical compounds to harm the earth.
Carbon fiber composite is an example of a strong, durable material that requires lots of space for unneeded pieces. Manufacturers use this material in the making of cell phones, especially in high-end electronics. We even see composites in our everyday lives with fishing rods, auto bodies, golf club shafts, and much more. By companies recycling huge chunks of scrap composite, not only is waste dealt with, but new carbon fiber is created.
The recycling efforts of some composite companies are beginning to cut back on the amount of waste produced, by recycling carbon fiber found within the composite. Oracle Team USA has been instrumental in redesigning the method of manufacturing yachts so that recycling scrap can be captured during the manufacturing process.
The current annual worldwide carbon fiber consumption stands close to 30,000 tonnes, with most scrap ending up in land fills. It is possible to take action in reversing this trend, as Oracle Team USA has proven. The recycling efforts of this company earned them an ReXC award from applied research specialist SCRA recently, for its intelligent design and commercial integration of reclaimed carbon fiber from composites.
Oracle team USA has gone one step further in its recycling efforts by including suppliers in the reclaiming process. The great work and innovative strides that have been taken by this company could easily catch on by like-minded composite manufacturing companies to soon have less waste and more reclaimed material.
The next step is creating goods from recycling carbon fibers and establishing new products. Already, cell phone cases and laptop cases have been marketed, using reclaimed carbon fiber. Read the entire story about America’s Cup winner Oracle Team USA at Composite World.