Carbon Fiber Recycler : Fiber Reclaimer

Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2019


Mechanical Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

Dr. Craig Johnson

Second Committee Member

Dr. john Choi

Third Committee Member

Professor Charles Pringle


Boeing uses composite components for the 777x aircraft. The production of composite parts results in flashing (excess material) that must be trimmed and "thrown away" as scrap. Boeing is investigating means of recycling these scraps. The method proposed for this project is to delaminate and shred the composite material. The delamination process uses a ram to press two claw shaped devices together that bends and deforms the material in opposite directions. The chipper process uses counter rotating saw blades spaced 1/8” apart to produce small shredded material. This shredding material is pyrolyzed (heated) to decay the resin leaving the carbon fiber. The shredded material is heated to 400 degrees F in a toaster oven to allow the resin to decay without damaging the carbon fiber. A shield is placed over the oven to contain the Argon gas used to displace the oxygen in the air. The shield also guides the gasses from the pyrolysis to the ventilation hood. This recycling method will allow for the expensive, and difficult to manufacture, carbon fiber to be reused in industry. Results from heating the composite should be able to decay the resin from the composite by at least 60%. This will allow the carbon fiber to be separated from the composite.

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