FibreCycle was a £1.5 million UK research project part-funded by the Technology Strategy Board, an executive body established by the UK government. Its aim was to develop materials based on carbon fibre recovered from waste streams to allow manufacturing of fabric for thermoplastic and thermoset applications in the composites industry.

The FibreCycle project ran for approximately four years and included six partners – Umeco (lead partner), Tilsatec, Sigmatex, Exel Composites, NetComposites and the University of Leeds.

Fibrecycle developed high performance, low cost co-mingled carbon fibre yarns and fabrics. The yarns and fabrics are blended carbon/PET, manufactured from virgin recovered carbon fibre that would otherwise have gone to landfill.

Sigmatex developed a method for taking the manufacturing waste from weaving and multiaxial processes and separating it into higher value waste suitable for conversion to sliver and yarn.

“With ever increasing demands for Carbon Fibre products, the conversion of waste into a viable product line is very attractive," says Chris McHugh, Technical Manager, Sigmatex.

"The innovative materials developed by the consortium will undoubtedly offer the end-user a sustainable product with the minimum knockdown on some material properties compared to virgin material.”

The JEC Innovation Award, in the Materials category, was presented to Sigmatex during the JEC Europe 2012 trade show in Paris in March.