The first composite overwrapped pressure vessel (COPV) made from continuous recycled carbon fiber tow.
The first composite overwrapped pressure vessel (COPV) made from continuous recycled carbon fiber tow.

Steelhead Composites, which makes composite pressure vessels, says that it has developed the first composite overwrapped pressure vessel (COPV) made from continuous recycled carbon fiber tow.

The carbon fiber was recycled with carbon fiber recycler Vartega Inc’s proprietary process, and was sized by fiber sizing company Michelman. This collaboration marks the first time that waste continuous tow carbon fiber towpreg has been reclaimed, recycled, and put back into the original manufacturing process, according to Steelhead.

‘This project was an excellent demonstration of both the utility of recycled carbon fiber in end-use products and the value of industry cooperation when bridging technical hurdles,’ said Sean Kline, Vartega Inc vice president of engineering.

‘The recycled fiber From Vartega processed very well with the sizing from Michelman,’ said Jake Schrader, Steelhead product development specialist. ‘It was handled just like any other dry fiber would be in a traditional wet winding set up, and there were no issues with fraying or splitting.’

This story is reprinted from material from Steelhead, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.