Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

Dr. Craig Johnson

Second Committee Member

Professor Charles Pringle

Abstract

During construction of Boeing’s aircrafts, carbon fiber reinforced composites are used as the primary material for the wings of the aircraft. Excess material during the manufacturing process is trimmed and discarded as waste. Although there is no viable process thus far, these trimmings have the potential to be recycled and reclaimed to be used in various other manufactured products. The trimmings of carbon fiber composite are approximately 10-12 layers of material bonded together. This project focuses on delaminating the trimmings into individual layers so that the carbon can be pyrolyzed from the bonding resin. In order to separate the layers of material the trimmings must be mechanically separated through a machine that uses extreme force. The machine constructed utilizes two gear reducers, powered by an electric motor to deliver the force necessary to feed the trimmings through a set of crushers. The crushers are two custom made gears that the trimmings have to pass through, resulting in transverse shear of the material. Past trials for delaminating the composite material were able to achieve a delamination of 80 percent. This benchmark had some success; however, the process was not a viable method because the machine had zero feed rate. This project is expected to result in a feed rate of 1 foot per minute while having a 100 percent delamination.

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