Recycled aircraft carbon fiber used in sports application

Published: August 23, 2012 6:00 am ET

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Topics Sustainability, Materials, Recycling, Suppliers

WINONA, MINN. (Aug. 23, 1:30 p.m. ET) — RTP Co. has introduced recycled aircraft-grade carbon fiber into compounds that deliver high performance at lower levels than conventional carbon fiber.

In a special compound, RTP of Winona, Minn., uses scrap carbon fiber from Boeing Co.’s production of components for its 787 Dreamliner aircraft. RTP worked with the new Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association to adopt the recycled fiber into its new compound.

The first user of the recycled carbon fiber compound is boating paddle producer Werner Paddles of Sultan, Wash. Werner found that high levels of virgin carbon fiber in compounds made its paddles visually unattractive. The company wanted a black compound that would provide a smooth finish that would denote high quality while providing high performance.

“The material is actually a little bit easier to process, and the system cost between the recycled content carbon fiber compound and virgin alternatives is insignificant,” stated Tim Bailey, engineering manager of Werner’s molder, Kaso Plastics of Vancouver, Wash., in a news release.

“Werner’s kayak paddle is a great example of Boeing’s sustainable manufacturing strategy at work, where post-industrial scrap from aircraft production provides a high-performance solution for a consumer product,” noted Bill Carberry, Boeing’s aircraft recycling manager.


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