Carbon fiber reinforced polymers: matrix modifications and reuse of carbon fibers recovered by pyrolysis

D'Angelo, Emanuele (2018) Carbon fiber reinforced polymers: matrix modifications and reuse of carbon fibers recovered by pyrolysis, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Chimica, 30 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/8363.
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Due to their extraordinary properties, Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRPs) are used in a growing number of fields (automotive, military, aircraft, aerospace, wind turbines, sport, civil infrastructure and leisure). Since the matrix in CFRPs is polymer-based, these composites have poor resistance to fire; additionally, when exposed to high temperatures, they can burn or lose their thermo-mechanical stability. Moreover, the recent huge and continuous development of CFRPs opened the question related to their disposal and total dependence on fossil resources. This thesis focussed on epoxy-based CFRPs. In more detail, commercial epoxy resins have been modified and replaced with bio-based alternatives, and short recycled carbon fibers composites have been produced. Two new bentonite-based organoclays were prepared with low cost reactants and mild reactions conditions and used to modify the flame behaviour of a commercial epoxy resin. The epoxy-modified resin flame behaviour was evaluated by cone-calorimeter and some significant improvements with just a 3 %wt loading level of organoclay were obtained. Furthermore, the possibility to recover and reuse carbon fibers by pyrolysis of CFRPs waste was studied: a validation of the recycling conditions and the treatments required to reuse recycled carbon fibers were assessed in order to obtain clean fibers and promote fiber/matrix adhesion in epoxy composites. Recycled carbon fiber were then used in a lab-scale composite manufacturing process and comparable mechanical properties for virgin and recycled short carbon fiber composites were achieved when an optimized coupled pyrolysis/oxidative process to CFRPs waste is applied. Finally, more sustainable CFRPs have been produced and characterized coupling highly bio-based epoxy systems, appropriately modified and optimized, and recycled carbon fibers. This latter work represents the first attempt aimed at replacing petroleum- BPA-based epoxy resins and high cost short virgin carbon fibers in the future CFRPs manufacturing processes.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
D'Angelo, Emanuele
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
CFRPs; Epoxy resins; Organoclay; Flame retardant; Pyrolysis; Recycled Carbon Fiber; Bio-based epoxy resins; Sustainable CFRPs
Data di discussione
17 Aprile 2018

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