Effects of acid treatments on solvent based recovery of outdated pre-preg composite fibers

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Ali, Zaara
Issue Date
2019-12
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Thesis
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en_US
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Abstract

Carbon fiber, Kevlar fiber and Glass fiber are the most widely used polymer prepregs in the manufacturing of high-performance composites, used to manufacture vital parts of aviation, automobile, sporting goods, civil, marine and wind industries, for their incredible properties of being five times stronger than steel and yet less than half the weight. However, the afterlife of these prepregs is mostly landfills, once they cure and expire, as it is difficult to recycle these due to the difficulty in separation of the fibers from the prepreg because of cross linked polymer matrices. High-performance composites being the most expensive material available, and also from an environmental perspective, the past decade has shown most interest in recycling them to obtain fiber. In this study, a solvent treatment method, acid digestion, using Sulfuric acid, Nitric acid, Acetone and DI water, under different decomposition conditions, was used to dissolve the matrix. Effects of time and temperature are studied to conclude optimum conditions to recycle. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) are used to characterize the recycled fibers to show that chemical digestion is an effective recycling process for Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP), Kevlar Fiber Reinforced Polymer (KFRP) and Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP), with emphasis on CFRP.

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Thesis (M.S.)-- Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
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Wichita State University
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Copyright 2019 by Zaara Ali All Rights Reserved
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