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Regenerating the strength of thermally recycled glass fibres using hot sodium hydroxide

Thomason, J. L. and Nagel, U. and Yang, L. and Sáez, E. (2016) Regenerating the strength of thermally recycled glass fibres using hot sodium hydroxide. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 87. pp. 220-227. ISSN 1359-835X

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    Results are presented from the ReCoVeR project on the regeneration of the strength of thermally conditioned glass fibres. Thermal recycling of end-of-life glass fibre reinforced composites or composite manufacturing waste delivers fibres with virtually no residual strength or value. Composites produced from such fibres also have extremely poor mechanical performance. Data is presented showing that a short hot sodium hydroxide solution treatment of such recycled fibres can more than triple their strength and restore their ability to act as an effective reinforcement in second life composite materials. The implications of these results for real materials reuse of recycled glass fibres as replacement for pristine reinforcement fibres are discussed.