Composites

2021-11-29

Hexcel and Fairmat announce partnership to recycle carbon fiber prepreg composites

© 2021 Hexcel
Hexcel Corporation (NYSE: HXL) and Fairmat, a deep technology startup based in France, have announced an agreement to build the capability to recycle carbon fiber prepreg from Hexcel European operations for reuse in composite panels sold into commercial markets. As a result, it is intended that most of the carbon fiber prepreg cutoffs generated at Hexcel plants in Europe will be repurposed by the end of 2022.

“With Fairmat, Hexcel has found an industrial recycling solution for the carbon fiber prepreg cutoffs generated at our European facilities,” said Thierry Merlot, President, Aerospace – Europe, MEA/AP & Industrial at Hexcel. “This partnership represents a significant step as we continue striving to be an industry leader and a responsible steward of resources. From lightweight composites that help reduce emissions to improving our processes to reduce our impact on the environment, Hexcel is relentless in our pursuit of innovations that will lead to a more sustainable future. So, we are delighted with this key collaboration.”

Under the partnership, Fairmat will lease a former Hexcel facility in Bouguenais (Loire-Atlantique) where it will recycle cutoffs generated during carbon fiber prepreg production at Hexcel European plants. Hexcel expects most of its carbon fiber prepreg cutoffs in Europe will be recycled as part of this partnership by the end of 2022. Fairmat will begin to set up the new site in early 2022 with production scheduled to start in March 2022.

Fairmat has developed a virtuous recycling process capable of circularizing the manufacture of carbon fiber composite materials, thereby giving a second life to this high value-added material. Carbon fiber and resins are mainly cold treated, leading to reduced energy costs and avoiding traditional landfill or incineration solutions. Fairmat’s clean recycling process is expected to save 41 kg of CO2 emissions per kilogram of recycled carbon fiber composite compared to virgin prepregs. Fairmat is aiming for a capacity of 5,000 tons of recycled material annually in this first production site.




“We are proud of the trust Hexcel has placed in us by signing this strategic partnership,” said Fairmat Founding Chairman Benjamin Saada. “The commercial agreement covering the first tons to be recycled in Europe will enable us to complete the industrial scale-up of our virtuous recycling technology by the end of the year. I originally founded Fairmat with a totally circular vision in mind, so it was important for me to be able to reuse an existing industrial facility to launch our production. I’m delighted that Fairmat is rapidly advancing toward its goal of giving advanced materials a second life.”


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