Experience-based training of students on concretes reinforced by recycled carbon fibers

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Cosgun, Cumhur
Patlolla, Vamsidhar Reddy
Alzahrani, Naif
Zeineddine, Hatim F.
Asmatulu, Eylem

Cumhur Cosgun, Vamsidhar R. Patlolla, Naif Alzahrani, Hatim F. Zeineddine, Eylem Asmatulu, "Experience-based training of students on concretes reinforced by recycled carbon fibers", Proc. SPIE 10163, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017, 1016339 (17 April 2017)


Fiber reinforcement increases many properties of the concretes, such as toughness, strength, abrasion, and resistance to corrosion. Use of recycled carbon fibers from industrial waste offers many advantages because it will reduce the waste, contribute the economy, protect natural resources and improve the property of structural units. The City of Wichita, KS is known to be "Air Capital of the World" where many aircraft companies have been producing aircraft, parts and components. Due to the superior properties of composites (e.g., light weight, low density, high impact resistance), they have been highly used by aircraft industry. Prepreg is the most preferred combination of the fiber and resin due to the easy application, but it has a limited shelf life (e.g., three months to one year at most) and scrap has no use after all in the same industry. Every year tons of un-used prepreg or after use scrap are being collected in Wichita, KS. Recycling prepreg from the post-consumer waste offers great advantages of waste reduction and resource conservation in the city. Reusing the carbon fibers obtained from outdated prepreg composites for concrete reinforcement will offer double advantages for our environment and concrete structures. In this study, recycled carbon fibers of the outdated prepreg composites were collected, and then incorporated with concretes at different ratios prior to the molding and mechanical testing. An undergraduate student was involved in the project and observed all the process during the laboratory studies, as well as data collection, analysis and presentation. We believe that experience based learning will enhance the students' skills and interest into the scientific and engineering studies.

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