Researchers have been able to extract carbon fiber from two Airbus A320 vertical tail planes that had reached the end of their service lives.
Researchers have been able to extract carbon fiber from two Airbus A320 vertical tail planes that had reached the end of their service lives.

National Composites Centre (NCC) says that it is researching ways to improve end-of-life composites for use in new industry applications.

The center is leading a project also featuring Network Rail, Airbus, Shell and Gen 2 Carbon.

So far researchers have been able to extract carbon fiber from two Airbus A320 vertical tail planes that had reached the end of their service lives, using a pyrolysis process. According to the NCC, the reclaimed fiber can be processed and configured into a fabric format that can be used with liquid resin composite manufacturing processes. The material combination will next be assessed and characterised for its mechanical performance, before being used to manufacture a wheelchair ramp against design criteria from the rail sector.

‘The diverse consortia involved in this project highlights the near-term challenges being faced across a number of industries, and the importance of our work to find sustainable solutions for end-of-life composites,’ said Dr Enrique Garcia, CTO at the NCC.

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