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New Recycling Center Keeps Scrap Carbon Fiber out of Landfills

A new recycling center that will help meet the demand for carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics has broken ground in Port Angeles, Washington. Port Angeles officials say the Composite Recycling Technology Center will initially focus on making products from uncured prepregs, Plastics News reports.

Jennifer States, director of business development for the Port of Port Angeles, tells Plastics News that some 2 million pounds of carbon fiber prepreg are disposed of per year in Washington, most of which ends up in landfills. The new recycling center will initially focus on making products from uncured carbon fiber composite prepreg; globally, only about nine operations recycle carbon fibers from composites, States says.

Additionally, in Pierce County, Washington, Toray Composites (TCA) has completed a multimillion dollar expansion project to add capacity to its carbon fiber prepreg production facility. The expansion will support growing demand from Bowing and other companies, TCA says.

TCA was originally established in 1992, adjacent to Boeing’s Composite Manufacturing Center, to supply carbon fiber composite materials for Boeing. First used on the Boeing 777, Toray’s carbon fiber composite materials are now incorporated into the 777 and 787 primary structure and will be used on the new 777X wing.

TCA supplies its carbon fiber prepreg materials for aerospace, automotive, industrial and sporting goods applications domestically and internationally.

Boeing, in partnership with Russell Brands, also recycles excess carbon fiber from 787 Dreamliner production into athletic gear.

Last week Dell said it would begin incorporating recycled carbon fiber into its products later in 2015.

Editor’s Note: Changes have been made to this article to clarify the roles of the Port of Port Angeles and TCA.

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