Investments are focussed on increasing the capacity to recover fibre from uncured prepreg and laminate feedstock and the commercialisation of the company’s Carbiso MB product line for reinforced thermoplastic compounds.
This growth has been driven predominately by development projects and technical collaborations with leading automotive and aerospace OEM’s and Tier 1s during the past two years.
ELG’s existing UK facility currently houses highly specialised reclamation and conversion equipment that supports the manufacture of recycled carbon fibre products to be reintroduced into the supply chain.
In 2016 to promote the use of recycled carbon in the composites industry, ELG installed a custom built, nonwoven production line to manufacture carbon fibre and hybrid thermoplastic mats in aerial weights from 100-500gsm and widths up to 2.7m. These products are currently being used in production automotive programs.
ELG is now directing resource into the commercialisation of the Carbiso MB products for the reinforced thermoplastic compounds industry. MB products are produced through the conversion of high grade, chopped fibres into a pellet form and tailored to applications that would traditionally have used chopped virgin carbon fibre.
ELG’s technical partners Sanko Gosei have been integral in the development phases of the MB range. Both parties have conducted extensive trials replacing glass fibre reinforced compounds with ELG’s recycled carbon fibre reinforced compounds in a variety of demonstration parts and achieved impressive weight reductions.
To support this growth in the production of finished products, ELG is upgrading its pyrolysis furnace to increase it’s output capacity beyond the current 1,000 tonnes of carbon fibre per year. This upgrade will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018, after which ELG estimates it will be able to deliver 1,700 tonnes of carbon fibre products to its customers from the Coseley plant each year.
“We are very focused on investments that offer customers a viable, high volume alternative to costly virgin carbon fibre”, comments Frazer Barnes, Managing Director ELG Carbon. “Recycling carbon fibres and converting them into consistent, affordable products is now a reality and we can deliver products in the significant quantities required at the speed the industry demands”.