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Airbus Sets Carbon Fiber Recycling Goal

Airbus has set a target to recycle 95 percent of its carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) manufacturing process wastes by 2020-2025, with 5 percent of those waste products being recycled back into the aerospace sector.

To achieve this goal, Airbus has set up the Airbus Composite Recycling Advisory Board. The board is tasked with establishing the company’s vision, strategy, objectives, and roadmap for recycling and reusing composite materials.

As part of this trans-national and trans-functional program, various research and technology projects for recycling CFRP composites are either underway or planned at Airbus sites in partnership with external organizations, the company says.

These projects seek to examine and validate the techniques and industrialization for recycling and reusing waste products from the CFRP manufacturing process, including both hard “cured” wastes and softer “uncured” materials.

The wind, aerospace, construction and mass transit industries are using more large lightweight structures, a trend that bodes well for the lightweight composites market such as carbon fiber, according to analysis published earlier this year by Frost & Sullivan.

In February, the US Department of Energy made available up to $12 million in funding to advance the production of carbon fiber material from renewable non-food-based feedstocks such as agricultural residues and woody biomass.

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