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Current issue

ELEKTRO 1/2018 was released on January 16th 2018. Its digital version will be available on February 12th 2018.

Topic: Electrotechnology; Materials for electrical engineering; Wiring material

Main Article
A new electrical insulating fluid and its possible deployment in practice

SVĚTLO (Light) 6/2017 was released on December 11th 2017. Its digital version will be available on january 11th 2018.

Lighting installations
The lighting of university building Centrale Supélec in Saclay in France
The light for our future

Daylight
Application and judgment light guides Solatube®

Recycling carbon fiber composites

03.05.2017 | Washington State University | news.wsu.edu

A WSU research team for the first time has developed a promising way to recycle the popular carbon fiber plastics that are used in everything from modern airplanes and sporting goods to the wind energy industry.

Carbon fiber reinforced plastics are very difficult to break down or recycle, and disposing of them has become of increasing concern. While thermoplastics, the type of plastic used in milk bottles, can be melted and easily re-used, most composites used in planes are thermosets. These types of plastics are cured and can’t easily be undone and returned to their original materials.

Carbon fiber plastics recycle

In their project, Jinwen Zhang, a professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and his team developed a new chemical recycling method that used mild acids as catalysts in liquid ethanol at a relatively low temperature to break down the thermosets. In particular, it was the combination of chemicals that proved effective, said Zhang, who has a chemistry background.

To break down cured materials effectively, the researchers raised the temperature of the material so that the catalyst-containing liquid can penetrate into the composite and break down the complex structure. The researchers were able to preserve the carbon fibers as well as the resin material in a useful form that could be easily re-used.

Read more at Washington State University

Image Credit: Washington State University

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