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Industry Addendum

Boeing and U.K’s ELG achieve breakthrough in carbon fibre recycling

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December 1st 2018

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Boeing, which is the largest user of aerospace grade composites for its commercial and defence programs, will partner with Britain’s ELG carbon fibre to recycle aerospace grade composite for the manufacture of electronic accessories and automatic products. Read More »

The agreement covers excess carbon fibre from 11 of the company’s manufacturing sites and will also include facilities in Canada, China and Malaysia.

Boeing Materials & Fabrication Director and Future Airplane Development, Tia Benson, said: “We are excited about collaborating with ELG to leverage innovative recycling methods.”

Until ELG developed the process to recycle “cured” composites used in aerospace manufacturing technical barriers held back carbon fibre re-use.”Recycling cured carbon fibre was not possible just a few years a ago,” said Benson.

Boeing and ELG conducted a pilot program to determine if the new technology could handle large scale recycling of excess carbon at Boeing’s composite wing centre for the huge wings of the company’s new B777X aircraft.

Over 18 months, the pilot program saved 1.5 million pounds of (681,818 kgs) of carbon fibre that that was cleaned and sold on to electronic and ground transportation manufacturers.

Based on the pilot study, Boeing forecast it can save excess composite materials, which will reduce waste going to landfills from Boeing factories by 20% in 2025.

Separately, Boeing and European aerospace conglomerate, Safran, will proceed with their joint venture to manufacture auxiliary power units (APU) after approval from the relevant regulatory authorities. The joint venture company will build and service APUs with initial design work to be done in San Diego, in the U.S.

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