An analysis of end of life terminology in the carbon fiber reinforced plastic industry

Paterson, David A. P. and Ijomah, Winifred and Windmill, James F. C. (2016) An analysis of end of life terminology in the carbon fiber reinforced plastic industry. International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, 9 (2). pp. 130-140. ISSN 1939-7038 (

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While many studies and reviews into the practices conducted by industry and academia to recycle and remanufacture carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) exist, to date no investigation exists which regards the correctness of the use of terms recycling and remanufacturing. As such, this paper seeks to analyse the CFRP reuse industry’s attempt to recycle and remanufacture manufacturing waste CFRP and end of life (EOL) CFRP with an emphasis on the terminology used to describe these practices. Firstly, this paper presents a justification of the importance of using EOL terminology correctly; outlining the benefits and problems associated with using the correct and incorrect terminology. This paper finds that in the case of CFRP remanufacturing, terminology is being applied incorrectly and in the case of CFRP recycling, particular care should be taken when applying the term recycled to CFRP or stating that CFRP has been recycled. Further, this paper proposes new terminology (in keeping with EU directives) which could be adopted by industry and academia working in this area. This paper also finds that in the case of remanufacture, CFRP is incapable of being remanufactured.