A Process to Recover Carbon Fibers From Polymer Matrix Composites
A process to recover carbon fibers from obsolete polymer matrix composite (PMC) materials has been developed. Carbon fibers have been recovered from samples containing urethane-based or epoxy-based substrates. An experimental parametric study conducted on both the bench-scale and the pilot-scale has been done to determine the least-cost process conditions. Based on this study, we have evaluated process economics that suggested a payback of about one year. This process is also applicable to polymer matrix composite materials made with thermoplastic substrates. This paper presents the results of the experimental testing campaign and the results of the process economic analysis.