At last week’s Global Automotive Lightweight Materials (GALM) European conference in Birmingham, UK, ELG Carbon Fibre shared its recycling solution that converts manufacturing waste into premium products that can be incorporated into vehicle design. According to ELG, recycled carbon fiber retains many of its inherent advanced properties, even though it has been reclaimed from waste.

The company is currently working with a number of automotive OEMs on a range of projects from the development of end-of-use recycling solutions for carbon fibre components and structures, to the demonstration of the economic and technical performance of recycled carbon fiber materials in lightweight vehicle applications.

“The availability of a recycling solution that can turn manufacturing waste into a product that can be used within the vehicle design will make a significant contribution to reducing the cost of carbon fibre composites,” states Frazer Barnes, Managing Director of ELG Carbon Fibre Ltd. “We see carbon fibre composites becoming an important part of a multi-material solution to automotive lightweighting, especially where high rate manufacturing processes such as injection moulding and compression moulding can be used.”

During the show, Barnes will co-presented with Andy Smith, Chief Engineer of Materials and Analysis at Gordon Murray Design. ELG Carbon Fibre is collaborating with Gordon Murray in the development of iStream® – the world’s first affordable high volume carbon fiber chassis that could revolutionize the way automakers make cars.

Some of the points Barnes and Smith stressed during the presentation include that recycled carbon fibers have similar mechanical properties to the original fibers, offer significant cost advantages, and have a significantly less environmental impact compared to virgin carbon fiber and aluminum.

Many efforts to further the advancement of composite recycling are also happening in the United States. Recently, the newly-established Composite Recycling Technology Center in Port Angeles, Wash., which is on pace to begin operations in October, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Toray Composites (America), Inc. to collaborate on carbon fiber recycling efforts. Additionally, the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) recently held a meeting among industry leaders to gather ideas on how to advanced composites recycling. ACMA is also working with IACMI on sustainability goals for the industry.