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Advanced Engineering 2019

Michelman Sizing Employed in World's First Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessel Made with Recycled Carbon Fibre

04 July 2017

Michelman Sizing Employed in World's First Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessel Made with Recycled Carbon Fibre

Continuous recycled carbon fibre tow has been used to manufacture a composite overwrapped pressure vessel (COPV) for the first time, reports Michelman, which collaborated with fellow Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) members Steelhead Composites and Vartega on the project.

The companies claim that this is the first time that waste continuous tow carbon fibre towpreg has been reclaimed, recycled, and put back into the original manufacturing process.

The fibre was recycled using Vartega’s patent pending recycling process, sized with Michelman’s Hydrosize EP876 fibre sizing, and fabricated by Steelhead Composites. Until this milestone, Michelman says recycled carbon fibre had been relegated to secondary products or as chopped fibre or filler.

"The successful fabrication of this COPV clearly illustrates that reclaimed carbon fibre can be efficiently and effectively recycled to produce high quality, OEM products and components,” says Steve Bassetti, Michelman’s Group Marketing Manager for the Industrial Manufacturing Group.

Michelman’s fibre sizing solutions formulated for use with reclaimed and recycled carbon fibre include Hydrosize U2-04, Hydrosize HP3-02, Hydrosize PA845H and Hydrosize HP-1632. These formulations are compatible with previously sized recycled carbon fibre, typically epoxy, as well as with most common thermoplastic resins such as PA, PP, PC, and high temperature thermoplastics such as PPS and PEEK.


Photo provided by Michelman




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