Materials Transactions Online

Materials Transactions, Vol.54 No.03 (2013) pp.384-391
© 2013 The Japan Institute of Metals

Recovery and Characterization of Reinforcing Fibers from Fiber Reinforced Plastics by Thermal Activation of Oxide Semiconductors

J. Mizuguchi, Y. Tsukada and H. Takahashi

Fiber Innovation Incubator, Faculty of Textile Science and Technology, Shinshu University, Ueda 386-8567, Japan

A novel system for the recovery of reinforcing fibers from fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) and their recycling technology has been developed on the basis of the thermal activation of semiconductors (TASC). TASC is our new technology characterized by the use of oxidative properties of defect electrons (i.e., hole) of semiconductors. The present technology enables us to totally decompose a polymer matrix in FRP into H2O and CO2 in 10-20 min at about 400-500°C in air, yielding only embedded reinforcing fibers in their original form. Characterization of the recovered glass fibers or carbon fibers has also been carried out by optical microscope, scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy (XPS), X ray diffraction (XRD), as well as thermogravimetric analysis and differential thermal analysis (TGA/DTA). The analysis revealed that no noticeable difference is recognized between the virgin reinforcing fibers and the recovered ones, but the sizing agent has also totally been removed. Therefore, it is necessary to coat a sizing material again when the recovered fibers are reused for recycling.

(Received 2012/09/06; Accepted 2012/12/13; Published 2013/02/25)

Keywords: fiber reinforced plastic, glass fiber, carbon fiber, thermal activation of semiconductors, recovery of fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) wastes

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