Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2018


Mechanical Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

Dr. Craig Johnson

Second Committee Member

Prof. Roger Beardsley

Third Committee Member

Prof. Charles Pringle


Composite waste from the 777 aircraft is a growing concern for Boeing and amounts to an excess of 600,000 pounds of highly valuable carbon fiber being thrown away. Reclaiming this material has been a long sought-after goal of Boeings as the current solution is ever expanding landfills. The two current methods of recycling composite waste are chemically and mechanically processing. The focus of this paper will be demonstrating the feasibility of mechanically processing composite waste to increase storage efficiency before chemically treating to reclaim the actual carbon fibers. This paper provides a two-stage solution for the recycling question. The first stage involves the composite passing through a device with a series of rollers and a cam. The cam causes bending and localized fracture/delamination in the composite. The rollers and cam rotate at a rate of 88 revolutions per minute at a feed rate of 100 inches per minute. The device is powered by a 5 horsepower motor, a gear speed reducer and a series of chains and shafts. The second stage involves the damaged composite entering a second device which cuts the composite into strips to enable bulk storage. Testing will consider the feasibility of the system working to process the composite at a continues rate of 100 inches per minute. These results will enable improvements to the design and determine if the current model is feasible to fulfill the processing rate of 100 inches per minute.