The recycling is to take place at the carbon recycling facility of RCF in the West Midlands and the estimate by GKN is that 100 metric tonnes from the Cowes site, of carbon waste will be recycled over the next 12 months as part of the cost neutral agreement.
The recycled material is expected to be used in a variety of products from paints and coatings to composite tooling and thermoplastics polymers to deep sea buoyancy products
GKN Director of Technology Rich Oldfield said they have been working for quite some time with RCF and now the idea is to commence a programme for recycling to ultimately establish as an integral part of the full production and manufacturing process in the UK.
With the aircraft market globally predicted to expand and with ambitious targets set for CO2 emissions and reduction of noise, the use of composite structures because of the performance benefits gained in many areas of the engine and airframe are not critical.
This is reflected clearly in the percentage use of composite structure in the latest aircraft generation having increased and has reached close to 50% by weight. It is vital the industry progresses to a greener manufacture on different fronts to balance the environmental and performance gains that are achieved. And the thought is that at the heart of the progression is an effective recycling process.
Managing Director of RCF, Steve Line said up to now the only solution of disposal of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic waste was incineration or landfill with both harmful to the environment. GKN will be in the coming years a vital part of the feedstock supply.