Hotfix carbon fiber is easy to repair and recycle

Although carbon fiber can be repaired and recycled identification To some extent, it is usually discarded when damaged. However, recent research shows that new types of materials can be easily fixed or reused simply by applying heat.

Today, most carbon fiber products are made from what is technically known as carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP). There are two types of CFRP, thermosetting and thermoplastic.

More commonly used thermosetting resins incorporate epoxy polymers that cure permanently when cured. This makes the material stronger, but subsequent rework is very difficult. Thermoplastics, in contrast, utilize softer polymeric adhesives that can be melted as needed. Unfortunately, they are neither as strong nor as hard as thermosetting CFRP.

With these restrictions in mind, the University of Washington team led by Asst. Professor Aniruddh Vashisth focused on the following new groups of carbon fiber materials: Carbon fiber reinforced vitrimer (VCFRP) – Claimed to combine the highest quality of thermosetting and thermoplastics.

Like the thermosetting polymers from which they are derived, Bitrimer vCFRP plastics initially form strong chemical bonds, resulting in a strong and hard material. However, heating the bitrimer using a traditional or radio frequency heat source releases these links and self-heals cracks and other defects. As the vitreous cools, the links reshape and the material regains its strength.

In this way, it has been reported that damaged or degraded vCFRP can be repaired multiple times and eventually disassembled and recycled.

“These materials can transform the linear life cycle of plastics into circles, which will be a major step towards sustainability,” said Professor Nikhil Koratkar.

A paper on research was recently published in a journal carbon .. Hotfix carbon fiber is easy to repair and recycle

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