Quest for clean composites


Composite Integration is investigating new ways of reducing the environmental impact of composite structures and components.

While the challenges of recycling traditional glass/carbon polyester/epoxy composites are well known, the Saltash-based company says the need exists to understand the processing requirements for a much wider range of fibre and resin systems.

As part of its internal ‘Clean Composites’ strategy, Composite Integration is evaluating a range of natural/renewable/recyclable fibre and resin systems to ensure that it can provide comprehensive processing guidance to clients and partners.

To support this work, Composite Integration is working with the School of Engineering at the University of Plymouth, an institution with a long history of both research and undergraduate teaching in the field of composite materials.

Placement engineer, Joe Searle, is currently carrying out both detailed research into available materials as well as practical processing evaluation trials.

He said: “The project focuses on identifying how we can produce high quality ‘clean’ composites. The project has looked at the effect of pre-processing and post-processing techniques on a wide variety of low carbon materials.

“Composite Integration has given me an opportunity to build my dissertation. Being able to use the experience and knowledge of the team at Composite Integration made researching the project significantly simpler.”