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Recover : Regenerating the strength of glass fibres thermally recycled from end-of-life

Thomason, James and Saez Rodriguez, Eduardo and Kao, Chih-Chuan and Nagel, Ulf and Yang, Liu (2015) Recover : Regenerating the strength of glass fibres thermally recycled from end-of-life. In: 20th International Conference on Composite Materials, 2015-07-19 - 2015-07-24.

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    Global production of composite materials in 2015 will significantly exceed 10 million tons. Glass fibre reinforced composites account for more than 90% of all the fibre-reinforced composites currently produced. Development of economically viable processes for recycling end-of-life glass fibre composites would have major beneficial economic and environmental impacts for the glass fibre composites industry. This paper reports a study on regenerating the performance of thermally recycled glass fibres. The effectiveness of the ReCoVeR treatments on the single fibre strength of glass fibres thermally treated to imitate the conditions of composite recycling technology is presented. The regenerated strength levels of these ReCoVeRed fibres must be further protected and maintained by the use of fibre sizing technology similar to standard glass fibre products. Consequently the effect on fibre strength of the combination of the ReCoVeR treatment with a standard silane coating was also studied. Significant increase of fibre strength was obtained through the regeneration treatments, achieving greater than triple the fibre strength in comparison with the thermally treated glass fibre. Furthermore the same treatments have also been applied to glass fibres recovered from model composites using laboratory thermal recycling. Fibre strengths have been achieved which makes reusing these fibres as a composite reinforcement a viable option. Results on the mechanical performance of composites containing ReCoVeRed glass fibres are presented and discussed in support of this assertion.