DUCHESS

DUCHESS PROJECT

Development and implementation of an
Upcycled
Carbon fibers industrial processing solution for
Highly
Enhanced textile and composite
SpecificationS

Giving a second life to carbon fibres from composite materials

In 2018, global demand for carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRP) showed that this material is predominantly used in the aerospace, automotive, sports and leisure sectors and for wind turbine blades.
For the wind power and aeronautics sectors, some studies have estimated that CFRP waste deposits will grow rapidly, reaching nearly 1 million tonnes generated worldwide by 2050.
However, given the increase in the quantity of materials reaching the end of their life, it is becoming essential to create an industrial ecosystem capable of recovering this waste and creating added value from it.

To meet these challenges, Sulitec, in partnership with the Institut Français des Textiles et de l’Habillement (IFTH), Alpha Recycling Composites, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Industries Textiles and IMTMines Albi-Carmaux, launched the DUCHESS collaborative project in February 2024, with the ultimate aim of producing recycled carbon fibre (rCf) yarns and mats with performances comparable to virgin carbon fibre composites (vCf).

Project objectives
  • To define the technical characteristics of the FCr wire and mat spools to be produced, with a view to ensuring perfect compatibility with existing transformation processes and industrial machines in France, so as to enable the tools of the industry’s manufacturers to be preserved and enhanced
  • To use waste deposits to produce FCr by vapothermolysis. As CRFs are derived from the waste from end-of-life composite parts, the cost of acquiring the material will be reduced. Optimise and produce semi-finished products (nonwovens, ribbons, rovings) and spools of CRF oriented yarns.
  • To demonstrate the high level of competitiveness of CRF products – Reduce CO2 emissions, with an estimated 2.1 million tonnes avoided over eight years of operation
  • To support employment, with the creation of 165 FTEs (full-time equivalents) over ten years at Sulitec and Alpharecyclage composites.
The partners
  • Sulitec,
  • Institut français des textiles et de l’habillement (IFTH),
  • Alpha recyclage composites, 
  • Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Industries Textiles,
  • IMT Mines Albi-Carmaux
Informations
  • Funder : BPI (PIA) via l’APP de l’ADEME sur les Solutions innovantes pour l’amélioration de la recyclabilité, le recyclage et la réincorporation des matériaux
  • Budget : Total: 3752 k€;
  • Recruitment : 1 PhD student in October 2024 + 1 post-doc in November 2025
  • Duration: 48 months – start : march 2024
Ensait / Gemtex contact 

Pr Damien SOULAT – Ass Pr Ahmad LABANIEH

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