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Advanced Composites Structures FEA/CFD Modelling Design and Manufacturing

Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing

About the Project

The most common composite material consists of carbon or glass fibres that are bonded together with a polymer matrix and are often referred to as carbon or glass fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP or GFRP). The combination of being both light weight and mechanically strong makes them very versatile materials with applications such as in plane parts, cars, boats, wind turbines, water tanks, construction materials, light bridges etc.
CFRP and GFRPs are however known to be difficult to recycle. The problem can be described as follows: while thermoplastic polymers can easily be re-melted, thermosetting polymers are often used when CFRP, GFRPs are produced. This type of polymers are “cross-linked” and can therefore not be re-melted.
This proposal attempts to solve the recycling issues of CFRP, and GFRP. For this purpose both thermal and mechanical methods will be evaluated. The proposed methodology would be to mix the waste composites, CFRPs, GFRPs and degrade with pyrolysis is a method where an organic material is heated in high temperatures. In case of waste, the polymer material and GFRPs will degrade into gas and oil while inorganic carbon fibres can be recovered.

The objectives of the project are:
• Advanced Composites Structures Design
• FEA/CFD modelling manufacturing
• Develop and demonstrate a cost efficient and environmental efficient recycling method in order to eliminate the amount of polymers waste going to a landfill.
• Recovering Carbon Fibres / Glass fibres.
• Generate a well-known waste with predictable properties and volume fraction
• Develop commercial products from the treated waste.

Potential uses for high volume/high value waste materials
• New composites
• Construction
• Insulation laminates
• Material for road building
• Drainage construction
• Arts artefacts from composites degrade waste
• Pyrolysis, oil and chemical derivatives

Funding Notes

No funding is available for this project


[1] S. Koutsonas “Modelling race-tracking variability of resin rich zones on 90º composite 2.2 Twill fibre curved plate” Composites Science and Technology: manuscript CSTE_2018_979. Accepted 1st Aug. 2018. (Impact 5.59).
[2] S. Koutsonas “Electrical conductivity of degraded polyacrylonitrile powder by microwave irradiation for supercapacitor devices or other mobile applications” Materials Letters Volume 193, 15 April 2017, Pages 203–205.,3psroNf5 No. MLBLUE-D-16-06371R3. (Impact 2.687).
[3] S. Koutsonas “Compaction and bending variability measurements of a novel geometry 3D woven layer to layer interlock composite textile around a 90° curve plate 3.2 mm radius’’ Composites Communications Volume 5, September 2017, Pages 40–45. (Impact 1.81).
[4] S. Koutsonas, G. Mitchell, F. Davis (2018). Microwave treatment of polyacrylonitrile powder method development and effects of surface modification porosity for supercapacitor devices or other mobile applications, Applied Mechanics and Materials: (SJR index 0,116: 408/518 Engineering (Q4)).
[6] S. Koutsonas. “Modelling race-tracking variability of resin rich zones on 90º composite 2.2 Twill fibre curve plate”. Manuscript 400, IEEE supported Computing Conference 10-12 July 2018. London UK.
[7] S. Koutsonas “Polyacrylonitrile degradation by microwave irradiation a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy analysis for the manufacturing of high porosity area for electrochemical supercapacitors or other devices for mobile applications”. University of Cambridge Materials Summit 4th to 6th of January 2018. Manuscript number: UKSUMMIT-4404.
[8] S. Koutsonas, G. R. Mitchell, F. J. Davis “Microwave treatment of polyacrylonitrile powder method development and effects of surface modification porosity for supercapacitor devices or other mobile applications” The 2nd International Conference on Direct Digital Manufacturing and Polymers. Centre for Rapid and Sustainable Product Development, Institute Polytechnic of Leiria Rua de Portugal, 2430-028 Marinha Grande, Portugal 15th to 18th of May 2017.
Book Springer Nature Chapter 53 proceedings:
[10] S. Koutsonas “Modeling Race-Tracking Variability of Resin Rich Zones on 90 º ; Composite 2.2 Twill Fibre Curve Plate” SAI 2018, AISC 858, approval 4723127_1_En, Chapter 53, Springer Nature ISBN 978-3-030-01173.

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