GKN Aerospace Pioneers Use of Composite Recycling Technologies

GKN Aerospace has signed an agreement during the Paris Air Show with Recycled Carbon Fibre Ltd (RCF) Birmingham, UK, to recycle the uncured carbon waste from its aerostructure manufacturing operation in Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. Recycling will take place at RCF’s innovative carbon recycling facility in the West Midlands. GKN Aerospace estimates that approaching 100 metric tonnes of carbon waste from the Cowes site will be recycled in the next 12 months as part of this cost neutral agreement. The recycled material will be used in a wide variety of products including paints and coatings, thermoplastic polymers and composite tooling. In the coming five years, as the GKN Aerospace operation at Cowes sees existing orders reach full production levels, there is predicted to be a 30 percent rise in the quantity of waste for recycling from this site alone. “Our composite research facility has been working with RCF for some time and our aim now is to commence a program that will ultimately establish recycling as an integral part of our full production manufacturing process in the UK, and globally,” explains Rich Oldfield, director of technology, GKN Aerospace.

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