A simple chemical approach to regenerating strength of thermally damaged glass fibre for reuse in composites

Bashir, S. T. and Yang, L. and Liggat, J. J. and Thomason, J. L.; (2018) A simple chemical approach to regenerating strength of thermally damaged glass fibre for reuse in composites. In: ECCM 2018 - 18th European Conference on Composite Materials. Applied Mechanics Laboratory, GRC. ISBN 9781510896932

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    Abstract

    A key technical barrier to the reuse of thermally recycled glass fibres in composite applications is their low mechanical strength. This research study looks into the effect of alkaline treatments in regenerating the strength of glass fibres which were heated in a furnace to simulate thermal recycling conditions. Up to 100% strength increase of the fibres can be achieved through a simple treatment in alkaline solution. It was found that the nature of alkali, concentration, and treatment duration had a significant effect on the extent of strength recovery of the fibres. These treatments could potentially be implemented to thermally recycled glass fibres on an industrial scale, to allow their reprocessing into second-life composite materials. As well as optimising the reaction conditions to regenerate fibre strength, an examination of the surface morphology was carried out using various techniques. In addition, the kinetics of dissolution of glass fibres in alkaline solutions was investigated in order to further understand the strength regeneration mechanism.