BMW closes the carbon fiber loop

Kerri Jansen
PLASTICS NEWS
and David Vink
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

Published: August 18, 2014 10:43 am ET
Updated: August 18, 2014 10:47 am ET

Image By: BMW AG BMW uses recycled carbon fiber in the roof and rear seat shells on the i3 electric car.

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Sustainability, Recycling
Companies & Associations BMW AG

TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. — BMW’s extensive use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic in its i-series vehicles has prompted the development of ways to recycle unused material. BMW’s all-electric i3 and the hybrid i8 represent the first mass-production vehicles with carbon fiber-intensive construction. As the market for carbon fiber grows, so does a need to cut costs, including reclaiming and reusing leftover portions of the valuable material.

Franz Storkenmaier, head of lightweight construction and vehicle weight at BMW AG, discussed the Munich, Germany-based automaker’s CF recycling efforts in a presentation at the Center for Automotive Research’s Automotive Briefing Seminars.

“The application of carbon fiber is well understood. The challenge is to industrialize that and make it economic,” he said.

BMW uses recycled CF in the epoxide resin-based CF reinforced plastic roof of the i3 and i8, as well as the i3’s rear seat shell, which is molded with non-woven recycled CF and polyurethane.

BMW’s carbon fiber materials are produced by SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, a joint venture between BMW Group and SGL Group. Their U.S. manufacturing facility is located in Moses Lake, Wash.

SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers recently talked with Plastics News sister publication European Plastics News about producing oriented (anisotropic) and isotropic non-woven fleece materials from CFRP waste materials. SGL ACF described its recycled CF yarns as “stretch-broken” with “special properties” such as high tensile strength and low yarn count, which apparently makes them especially suitable for processing into textile fabrics. CF non-woven fleeces were developed over a three-year period together with the TITK Thuringia institute for textile and plastics research, based in Rudolstadt, Germany.

Vink is a correspondent for European Plastics News.


Comments

BMW closes the carbon fiber loop

Kerri Jansen
PLASTICS NEWS
and David Vink
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

Published: August 18, 2014 10:43 am ET
Updated: August 18, 2014 10:47 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Mexico's Polymer Solutions looks to grow, expand offerings with name change

January 23, 2015 12:03 pm ET

British biodegradable additives developer Symphony Environmental Technologies plc's Mexico distributor has changed its name from Plásticos...    More

Image

Gurit wins carbon fiber auto contract using new processing technology

January 23, 2015 9:22 am ET

Switzerland-based composite materials group Gurit Holding AG has been selected as the supplier for carbon fiber based automotive body panels at a...    More

Image

Recycling Partnership coalition kicks off its initial curbside project

January 22, 2015 3:51 pm ET

The Recycling Partnership's inaugural effort to boost curbside recycling around the country kicked off this week in Columbia, S.C.    More

Image

ACC's 'Roadmap' gaining traction

January 22, 2015 1:56 pm ET

Nearly a year into the launch of the latest effort to promote greater use of plastics in automotive applications, a trade group behind the push says...    More

Image

Auto supplier Cooper-Standard to trim operations in Europe

January 22, 2015 11:08 am ET

Novi, Mich.-based Cooper-Sandard Holdings Inc. said Jan. 21 it plans to consolidate its operations in Europe, including reducing manufacturing in Fran...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events