JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 25

World's first fully-recycled thermoplastic composite application in aerospace

Fig. 2: TPC-Cycle: a new recycling route for thermoplastic composites

The development of recycling solutions
specific to thermoplastic composites is
crucial because of the high value of these
materials, and for legal and environmental
reasons. The project targets production
waste by developing a recycling route
for high-end and high-volume markets,
as shown in figure 2. The objective is to
retain the high mechanical properties of
thermoplastic composites and reduce the
environmental impact at an affordable cost.
The project studies the process steps from
waste collection to shredding, reprocessing
and application. It is developed in collaboration with industrial partners, focusing
on the total value chain at every process
step. The recycling solution features short
cycle times, net-shape manufacturing and
enables the production of complex shapes.
High mechanical properties are obtained
by retaining long fibre lengths. Multiple
demonstrators are developed to show
the possible applications in a high-value
market, with an aerospace part, and for
a high-volume market, with a toecap for
safety shoes. The aerospace demonstrator
panel has already successfully flown on the
rotorcraft.
Value
The new rotorcraft access panel door is
lighter than the original component, its
production cost is drastically reduced, and
the product is more sustainable due to the
use of an energy-efficient process and recycled materials. In this field of application,
weight is of critical importance and therefore is a key motivation for using this type
of material. The weight reduction does not
only come from the material's mechanical
properties, but also from the possibility to
optimise the geometric stiffening through
the use of stringers thanks to the material's

processability. The orientation of the
stringers was chosen to distribute stresses
more uniformly over the product, resulting
in reduced material consumption and
therefore weight savings. These solutions
allow for a 9% weight reduction compared
to the current carbon/epoxy hand lay-up
component.
An additional benefit is created by the
cost reduction on the material and process
levels. Substantial material optimisation
is achieved by reusing reclaimed material,
since current waste streams are discarded.
Additionally, all the steps of the recycling
solution maximise cost efficiency versus
using solely virgin material. Consequently,
a major cost reduction is obtained when
manufacturing the recycled component
over its original counterpart. The recycling
route offers further cost reductions by
shortening the overall manufacturing cycle
time. The process time is significantly shorter compared to the current production by
applying an out-of-autoclave process with
isothermal mould, fast demoulding and
near-net-shape manufacturing.
Impact
This innovation benefits the common
good on various levels. The preliminary
results of an ongoing life cycle analysis
(LCA) show significant CO2 reductions in
terms of material, manufacturing, and use
phase. The raw material is reclaimed during
the manufacturing process and thus saved
from disposal; therefore, the buy-to-fly
ratio is increased significantly. Additionally,
since the production of carbon fibre is an
energy-intensive process, this leads to a
major CO2 and energy reduction. Unlike
fibre reclamation processes, the polymer is
recycled, resulting in less waste and no need
to clean, apply sizing and re-impregnate the

fibres. The recycling route consists of the
following steps: size reduction, mixing and
compression moulding. Shredding is an industrial standard in recycling and has a low
energy consumption. During shredding,
no dust is observed at emission analysis.
During the mixing step, the material is
melted effectively. Compression moulding
takes place in an isothermal mould, which
reduces energy consumption and cycle
time significantly in contrast to recycling
processes requiring a heating and consolidation cycle. The manufacturing of the
current thermoset access panel includes
an autoclave step. Removing this step
results in a major energy and CO2 reduction. Using thermoplastic composites,
the harmful volatile organic compounds
(VOCs) generated during processing are
negligible compared to thermoset-based
composites. The weight saving of nearly
10% leads to fuel savings in the use phase.
The preliminary LCA results show that
the main reasons for a significant energy
and CO2 reduction are the lower weight,
the recycled material, and the isothermal
mould during the out-of-autoclave process.
Various types of materials reclaimed during production can be used, e.g. prepreg
or semipreg, but also thick consolidated
laminates. The challenges for end-of-life
applications are being investigated and
solutions for waste pollution are proposed.
This way, thermoplastic composites are
closing the gap to a circular economy.
Further development
The application and process developed
show that similar solutions are possible for
high-end products. Thanks to the short cycle
time, this process is also suitable for markets
with larger volumes than aerospace. Several
actions are in progress to evaluate the production process for serial production. More
detailed cost and environmental studies are
currently being performed; quality control
and inspection are also examined. At the
same time, a feasibility study is ongoing to
determine if the approach and recycling
route can be applied in other aerospace applications, such as (non-structural) fairings,
covers and system brackets. The results
regarding cost and weight reduction look
very promising for several types of parts.

N°137 November - December 2020

/ jec composites magazine

25



JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020

Cover
Edito
“We can change the way we envision global shipping overall”
Contents
NEWS
In brief
Agenda
BUSINESS
Human ressources - Skills requirements in the composite materials sector – the French example
Startup - Make lightness and performance affordable without compromising the environment
Offshore - GWEC: Asia Pacific to become the largest offshore wind market by 2030
MANUFACTURING
Additive manufacturing - The METHOD platform expands to support more materials,applications, and markets
Automation - One-shot manufacturing of cylindrical lattice structures for satellite applications
Recycling - World’s first fully-recycled thermoplastic composite application in aerospace
Additive molding - From large-scale continuous thermoplastic composites to mass production
FEATURE AUTOMOTIVE - Is it possible to do better?
FRP - Fully coupled processstructure analysis for automotive center floor panel
Honeycomb - Composite materials for lighter vehicles
Additive manufacturing - Transforming composite production processes with FDM additive manufacturing
EV - All-composite EV wheel moves to next development phase with pilot production
Security - The world’s fastest armoured car
Natural fibre - Sustainable composite solution for new Toyota LQ concept car
SOLUTIONS
Defence - Drones as wingmen
City - Composites for tomorrow’s cities
Maintenance - Degradation mechanism and maintenance of GFRP hydrochloric acid storage tanks
TECHNOLOGY
Bonding - Adhesion properties of bonded composite-to-aluminium joints using peel tests
Inside the lab - The University of Southern Queensland - Centre for Future Materials
Method - Weight and cost reduction with double-double laminates
Index
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JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - “We can change the way we envision global shipping overall”
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - In brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 9
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Agenda
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Human ressources - Skills requirements in the composite materials sector – the French example
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 12
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Startup - Make lightness and performance affordable without compromising the environment
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 15
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 16
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Offshore - GWEC: Asia Pacific to become the largest offshore wind market by 2030
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 18
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Additive manufacturing - The METHOD platform expands to support more materials,applications, and markets
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 20
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Automation - One-shot manufacturing of cylindrical lattice structures for satellite applications
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 22
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 23
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Recycling - World’s first fully-recycled thermoplastic composite application in aerospace
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 26
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Additive molding - From large-scale continuous thermoplastic composites to mass production
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 28
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 29
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - FRP - Fully coupled processstructure analysis for automotive center floor panel
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 31
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 32
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 33
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Honeycomb - Composite materials for lighter vehicles
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 35
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 36
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Additive manufacturing - Transforming composite production processes with FDM additive manufacturing
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 38
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - EV - All-composite EV wheel moves to next development phase with pilot production
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 40
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Security - The world’s fastest armoured car
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 42
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 43
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Natural fibre - Sustainable composite solution for new Toyota LQ concept car
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 45
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 46
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Defence - Drones as wingmen
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 48
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - City - Composites for tomorrow’s cities
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 51
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Maintenance - Degradation mechanism and maintenance of GFRP hydrochloric acid storage tanks
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 53
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Bonding - Adhesion properties of bonded composite-to-aluminium joints using peel tests
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 55
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 56
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 57
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 58
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 59
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 60
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 61
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Inside the lab - The University of Southern Queensland - Centre for Future Materials
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 63
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Method - Weight and cost reduction with double-double laminates
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 65
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Advertisers
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 67
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 68
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