The recovered fibres will be converted into ELG’s milled and chopped fibres which are used to make thermoset and thermoplastic compounds and nonwoven mats that are utilised in the manufacture of composite structures. Both organisations view this collaboration as a vital step in addressing the issue of global carbon fibre consumption and raising awareness of closed loop recycling within the marine industry.
“Our desire to be the world’s most sustainable sports team has meant that recycling the significant amounts of carbon fibre that we use in boat construction has been a concern for us for some while,” says Michel Marie, Land Rover BAR’s Manufacturing Manager. “So we are very pleased to have reached this agreement with ELG, and to be working with them on carbon recycling. This will be a very significant issue, not just for the marine industry but for the wider world in the coming decades and we have to start now and push hard to develop awareness and find solutions.”
ELG will work with Land Rover BAR’s engineering team to develop applications for the recycled carbon fibre for Great Britain’s entry in the 36th America’s Cup. This will be achieved through the utilisation of its CARBISO range. Products will be made entirely from reprocessed Land Rover BAR carbon components such as hull moulds, hulls and foils from boats used in past race campaigns.
With ELG’s support, Land Rover BAR hopes to significantly increase the application of recycled composite materials during its next build campaign that is due to commence in 2018.
The work is based on successful feasibility studies that have shown that high quality carbon fibres can be recovered from the process waste and end-of-use parts and converted into products that are usable in the marine sector.
Tracing the waste has been an important consideration for Land Rover BAR as it is keen to see which components will be used in future applications. ELG conducts a range of tests on all feedstock to ensure the correct classification for every batch of material that is processed. A unique code is then allocated which provides full traceability through the subsequent processes.
“It is hugely rewarding to see such an environmentally aware team as Land Rover BAR championing the issue of closed loop recycling in the marine sector,” comments Frazer Barnes, ELG Carbon Fibre’s Managing Director. “Our advanced, recycled carbon fibre products will help support the vital message of sustainability in elite sport and that is something we are very proud to be associated with.”
Land Rover BAR exited the 35th America’s Cup at the semi-final stage, losing to the eventual winner Emirates Team New Zealand. The team is now preparing to compete in the 36th edition in 2021.