Sustainable Carbon Fibre Production
In recent years the demand for carbon fibre has grown significantly. From stringent emissions targets in the Automotive sector to lightweighting objectives within Aerospace applications, we are continually pushing the boundaries to produce the lightest, fastest and most efficient modes of transportation. To support these objectives, more OEM’s are turning to the unique properties of carbon fibre. From processing 20,000 tonnes per year, the market is now producing in excess of 60,000 tonnes each year and is forecasted to double by 2020.
As the world’s leading independent converter of carbon fibre, Sigmatex recognises the key issues around sustainability. An increase in demand for carbon fibre textiles is great for business but bad for the environment – a rise in production means a rise in production waste. Sigmatex has launched a new product – sigmaRF to help tackle the increasing volume of scrap material which was traditionally sent to landfill. The product is capable of serving Automotive, Energy and Sports and Leisure markets which demand lightweight, cost effective materials that still deliver mechanical performance. sigmaRF is an innovative and sustainable commingled thermoplastic composite material based on reclaimed carbon fibre and thermoplastic matrix.
The technology used to create sigmaRF is innovative, patented and proprietary to Sigmatex. sigmaRF is produced by collecting virgin fibre waste stream and blending with a thermoplastic fibre to create a dry non-woven textile. The fibres go through a carding process to realign the carbon and after this, the carded fibre is part consolidated to create unidirectional tapes. The tapes can be laid up into the biaxial fabric using our state of the art Liba Max 5 Multiaxial machine to create an exceptionally high quality and cost effective product. This process enables Sigmatex to manufacture sigmaRF by utilising 100% of its production waste.
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