A team of researchers led by the University of Colorado Boulder has found a simple and cost-effective way of recycling carbon fibre into a new material that is just as robust as the original.
The findings, published online in the journal Advanced Materials show that both the fabrication of the new material and the recycling are energy-efficient and comparatively fast, potentially addressing barriers to wider use in manufacturing.
Philip Taynton is the lead author of the paper and co-founder of a start-up company working to bring the novel carbon-fibre composite to market and have filed a U.S. patent application. The new product is claimed to be more quickly fabricated than most carbon fibre composites, which can take an hour to cure.
Mallinda, LLC, the name of the company created to manufacture this new composite has received $150,000 in support from an NSF Small Business Innovative Research Grant, and the University and Mallinda have signed an exclusive licensing agreement.
The company’s first marketing target is sporting gear such as shin guards, which can be moulded directly to the body and take whatever impact you can throw at it.