Since the mid-2000s, Boeing has invested significant resources in trying to establish a viable recycling process to produce a supply of usable carbon fiber from cured and uncured waste. For the past 15 years, Boeing’s strategy has been to help identify viable technologies, invest in R&D and assist with scale up. “We have been trying to develop a viable technology, but we don’t want to own it,” explained George. “We want to have an industry that services Boeing.”
Last year, Boeing took a major step in that direction by signing a five-year contract with ELG Carbon Fibre to collect and recycle the company’s CFRP waste from 11 manufacturing facilities. “We hope that this will be the consistent supply that will really get this industry off the ground,” said George.