Sustainable materials

To achieve climate goals, we have to think about sustainable materials in a holistic way. The three „R“s - reduce, reuse and recycle - are essential. Carbon-fiber composites are an ideal material to reduce weight while keeping the required properties. Nevertheless, the production of virgin carbon fibers is extremely energy intensive. It is therefore mandatory to find sustainable solutions to recycle these valuable resources.

Recycled carbon fibers for injection molding processes in the automotive industry

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Recycled carbon fibers are a step towards more sustainability. Carbon fibers are essential to reduce weight in cars and thereby reduce fuel and energy consumption. The production of virgin carbon fibers is extremely energy intensive, so using recycled carbon fibers is a good solution. However, reliable and consistent component quality is a challenge in recycled products.

Within in the project reCa-HiT, Fraunhofer ICT used two different injection molding compounding technologies to produce complex shaped demonstrators made with recycled carbon fiber hybrid yarns that showed excellent mechanical properties.

Current research

Project reCaHiT

  • increase acceptance of recycled material
  • prove good mechanical properties
  • economically feasible for industrial uptake

Direct long-fiber thermoplastic processing: less processing steps & increased properties

In collaboration with industrial partners, the technology and material innovations are transferred from research to industrial fibers, in order to use recycled materials in industrial applications.

The performance of secondary-fiber-reinforced composites in comparison to reference samples made of primary materials is demonstrated by a comprehensive mechanical characterization of the test specimens.