By Cameron Chai
The structural materials business of Umeco has announced that it was the Lead Partner in FibreCycle, a multi-partner UK project, which has obtained a JEC Innovations Award. Sigmatex has received this award for working in the FibreCycle program.
The Technology Strategy Board partly funded this FibreCycle program, which was an UK funded research project valued at £1.5m. Six partners namely the University of Leeds, Tilsatec, NetComposites, Umeco, Exel Composites and Sigmatex were included in the program, which ran for around four years. This project aimed to develop materials that were based on recovered carbon fibres from waste streams in order to allow technical fabric production for use in thermoset and thermoplastic in the composites industry.
FibreCycle showed an innovative technology for recovering carbon fibres. Commercial potential of the recycled carbon fibre-based high-valued products was demonstrated in this project. These materials have less impact on the environment, when compared to virgin carbon fibre-based materials, and can be used for various applications such as in the sports & leisure, aerospace, automotive, and energy and medical divisions.
According to Umeco’s FibreCycle project manager, Dr Sophie Cozien-Cazuc, the company is aware about its operations that impact on the environment and will encourage the applications of sustainable bio-composites and recycled composites. He said that the company engages with other organisations in search of expanding inexpensive solutions, which aim at recovering raw materials from the prepregs.
The company’s activities are concentrated on providing new and advanced composites and different services to its clients. FibreCycle program is one of the joint R&D projects.