Recycled composites are in the future of infrastructure

An unfortunate byproduct of almost any manufacturing process is the waste of material. Almost inevitably, something will have to be trimmed off or an excess amount is applied and needs to be removed. This is true when using composite materials like carbon fiber.

Many businesses use carbon fiber for various applications, ranging from cutting edge sporting goods to safe and efficient aircraft materials. With such a widespread and growing use of carbon fiber in many industries, the amount of waste can begin to pile up. That’s why many businesses have been taking the initiative to recycle carbon fibers.

The growth of recycled carbon fibers

Recycling carbon fiber had a rocky start when the idea was first introduced. Many businesses didn’t know how to reuse recycled carbon fibers in the same safe and efficient manner as new carbon fibers. However, developments in composite technology have paved the way for applications like using carbon fibers in place of wood.

The city of Port Angeles, Washington, will put this to practice as they’re placing recycled carbon fiber park benches in the city this year. These park benches have advantages over wood benches because they are resistant to rotting, weather and insects. Plus, they reduce the need for using limited resources like trees on something like a bench.

Using recycled carbon fibers in infrastructure

Benches and simple structures are a good start for recycled carbon fibers, but they have potential for much more. Researchers at the Washington State University and the Composites Recycling Technology Center have found a way to combine recycled carbon fibers with wood.

This combination holds potential for the construction of commercial buildings and houses. Wood with recycled carbon fibers is more durable and less prone to decay and shrinking or expanding from alternating temperatures. This will make timber a more viable option for the construction of large buildings, which currently limit the use of timber after a certain height is reached.

Being able to use timber in taller buildings will benefit construction speed and reduce production costs for many infrastructure projects.

Composites One is the number one composites distributor in the U.S. and Canada

Does your business build infrastructure like commercial buildings or houses? You may benefit from the use of recycled carbon fibers and other composite materials in your next project. If this is the case, you’ll need to get ahold of the best composite materials on the market.

At Composites One, we have thousands of composites ready to ship from 41 distribution centers in North America. Contact us today to learn more about recycled carbon fibers and other composite materials.