Upgrading and reuse of glass fibre recycled from end-of-life composites

Thomason, J L and Yang, L and Pender, K (2020) Upgrading and reuse of glass fibre recycled from end-of-life composites. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 942. 012002. ISSN 1757-899X (https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/942/1/012002)

[thumbnail of Thomason_IOP_2020_Upgrading_and_reuse_of_glass_fibre_recycled_from_end_of_life]
Text. Filename: Thomason_IOP_2020_Upgrading_and_reuse_of_glass_fibre_recycled_from_end_of_life.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 logo

Download (2MB)| Preview


The value of recycled glass fibres is significantly reduced due to the loss of fibre strength and surface functionality that occurs during recycling. 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 alkali treatment of glass fibres which have been heat treated at typical composite recycling temperatures can more than triple their strength and restore their ability to act as an effective reinforcement in second life composite materials. Glass fibre recovered from fluidised bed recycling of composite materials exhibited much greater levels of mechanical abrasion damage. However, the strength of these fibres could also be increased to levels required in composite reinforcement by longer or more aggressive alkali treatment. The implications of these results for real materials reuse of recycled glass fibres as replacement for pristine reinforcement fibres are discussed.