Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Light weight construction for aeronautics and transport: sustainably repairing and recycling CFRP

07.03.2016

High performance carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) have firmly established themselves in modern airplanes. Repairs, however, are very laborious and often even impossible. Most of the time, the entire component has to be replaced. The PYCO Research Division at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam, Germany, has developed a simple, cost-effective and energy-efficient way to make sustainable repairs. Moreover, entire components can be completely recycled in a process in which the expensive carbon fibers are reclaimed. Researchers will present their developments at JEC World in Paris from March 8 to 10, 2016 in Hall 5a, stand D52.

Composites made from crosslinked polymers – so-called thermosets – are reinforced with carbon, glass or natural fibers. Their rich spectrum of properties have increased their importance in aerospace, the automotive industry, wind power generation, shipbuilding, railway construction, building construction, and civil engineering.


Defective airplane components made from carbon fiber reinforced plastics may soon be repaired or recycled easily and cost-effectively.

mev-Verlag

Yet, even the best material can become damaged or show wear and tear. Engineers must then decide whether the defective area should be painstakingly and expensively patched, or whether the entire component has to be replaced.

“Repairing and recycling polymer-based composites are inseparably linked to resource efficiency and sustainability”, explains Dr. Christian Dreyer, who leads the Research Division Polymeric Materials and Composites PYCO at the Fraunhofer IAP. “Finite resources increase the importance of sustainable management and the use of recyclable and repairable polymer materials”, says Dreyer.

The researchers have therefore developed a process for repairing and chemically recycling fiber-reinforced thermosets. These are especially used as matrix resins in composites for high-stress components.

The crosslinked polymers form a very rigid structure that gives the component its shape. But it is precisely this structure that creates a problem when it comes to repairing or recycling the component. Unlike thermoplastics, once thermosets are cured, it is very difficult to chemically decompose them.

Repairing and reclaiming – simple, cost-effective and energy-efficient

“We have developed a fast and gentle way for a chemical recycling which allows highly crosslinked plastics to be broken down into their basic elements”, Dreyer explains. This development enables a component to be completely recycled or to be repaired locally. The resin matrix is gently removed from the defective area without significantly impacting the mechanical properties of the reinforcement fiber. The exposed fibers are then refilled with repair resin and cured.

The new process is also setting the standard for recycling. Until now discarded components have been either incinerated or shredded to be used as fillers. The Fraunhofer researchers have the crucial advantage when it comes to chemical recycling: the often expensive reinforcement fibers are reclaimed alongside the decomposed polymer matrix. Due to the limited size of the components, the fibers are no longer continuous filaments. Nevertheless there are many applications that use fibers measuring up to several centimeters.

Professor Alexander Böker, who heads up the Fraunhofer IAP explains: “This recycling process is of particular interest to companies since the matrix material can also be recycled on an industrial scale. This allows sufficient quantities of new ‘recycling thermosets’ to be synthesized. The Fraunhofer Pilot Plant Centre for Polymer Synthesis and Processing PAZ – a joint initiative of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam-Golm and for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS in Halle/Saale – enables us to manufacture these resins in industry-relevant quantities.

Visit us at JEC World!

JEC World 2016 | March 8 – 10, 2016, Paris (F) |
Joint stand run by Carbon Composites e.V., Halle 5a, Stand D52

Exhibition grounds: Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre |
Address : CD 40, ZAC Paris Nord 2, 93420 Villepinte, France


Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP

The Fraunhofer IAP in Potsdam-Golm, Germany, specializes in research and development of polymer applications. It supports companies and partners in custom development and optimization of innovative and sustainable materials, processing aids and procedures. In addition to the environmentally friendly, economical production and processing of polymers in the laboratory and pilot plant scale, the institute also offers the characterization of polymers. Synthetic petroleum-based polymers as well as biopolymers and biobased polymers from renewable raw materials are in the focus of the institute’s work. The applications are diverse, ranging from biotechnology, medicine, pharmacy and cosmetics to electronics and optics as well as applications in the packaging, environmental and wastewater engineering or the aerospace, automotive, paper, construction and coatings industries. | Director: Prof. Dr. Alexander Böker

Contact:
Dr. Sandra Mehlhase | Press & Public Relations
Geiselbergstraße 69 | 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
Phone: +49 331 568-1151 | email: sandra.mehlhase@iap.fraunhofer.de

Dr. Sandra Mehlhase | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht Fraunhofer HHI at Mobile World Congress with VR and 5G technologies
24.02.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

nachricht MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin
24.02.2017 | FOKUS - Fraunhofer-Institut für Offene Kommunikationssysteme

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>