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The use of recycled carbon fibers (rCF) in production of polymer concrete to improve mechanical properties

Jakub Smoleń

Quarterly No. 3, 2023 pages 167-172


keywords: carbon fibers, recycling, pyrolysis, polymer concretes, composites

article version pdf (1.63MB)

abstract The recycling processes for CFRP waste are difficult due to their complex, and multi-material composition. Consequently, there is a need for new solutions to address this issue. The focus of CFRP composite recycling processes is primarily on recovering costly carbon fibers, which are characterized by exceptional mechanical properties. Pyrolysis has been identified as an effective method for the recovery of carbon fibers without significant damage. In this study, recovered carbon fibers (rCF) were used to produce polymer concrete. The fabricated polymer concretes contained carbon fibers of varying lengths (10, 20, and 30 mm) and volume fractions of 1% and 3%. The results showed that the addition of 3% post-pyrolytic carbon fibers resulted in significant improvement in the mechanical properties of the polymer concrete. Specifically, the flexural strength increased by more than 100% compared to the polymer concrete without carbon fibers, while the compressive strength improved by more than 60%. Overall, the study demonstrates that incorporating post-pyrolytic carbon fibers in the production of polymer concretes offers a promising solution to the challenge of CFRP waste. The use of these fibers not only helps in the recovery of valuable resources but also results in significant improvement in the mechanical strength of the final product.

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