For his experiment, Van Hoa used Cytec’s CYCOM® 977-2 carbon/epoxy prepreg system, with some laminate layers utilizing fibers oriented at 0 degrees (parallel to the main axis of the laminate) and others with fibers at 90 degrees (perpendicular to the main axis of the laminate).
“Normally when people work in composite materials … they don’t like the unsymmetrical laminate,” Van Hoa says, noting that symmetry makes it easier to predict how the laminate will behave in certain conditions. “I look at it the other way around. I look at it as an advantage rather than a liability.”
So far, Van Hoa has developed prototypes of curved leaf springs, the lightweight vibration absorbers found in cars. He also envisions his novel process being used for prosthetic legs or space applications, including satellites, where the structures are subjected to extreme temperature fluctuation.
Recycled CFRP in Concrete
Project: Improved permeable pavement
School: Washington State University
Location: Pullman, Wash.
Principal Investigators: Karl Englund and Somayeh Nassiri
In Washington and Oregon, the success of the salmon and fishery industries is a critical component of the states’ economies. But for years, contamination from stormwater runoff has severely stunted salmon growth. One strategy that several cities have attempted is to create permeable concrete in parking lots and low-traffic streets that could allow runoff to drain through the pavement and not go directly into the watershed. However, because it is highly porous, permeable concrete is not nearly as durable as traditional concrete used in major roads.
To innovate new solutions for mitigating contaminated stormwater, Washington State University’s Karl Englund, Ph.D. and Somayeh Nassiri, Ph.D. teamed up with Boeing to develop a new type of permeable pavement. Englund, who had already been collaborating with Boeing for years on creative applications for excess CFRP material, saw the project as an opportunity to demonstrate the strength and stiffness of reusable composites and help solve a critical problem. Not only does this new permeable pavement absorb runoff, but it also has long-term strength and durability.