ZOLTEK Recycled Fiber

It is estimated that more than 30% of produced carbon fiber ends up as waste at some point in its lifecycle. As innovators and leaders in the carbon fiber industry ZOLTEK sees this statistic as yet another opportunity to revolutionize the commercialization of carbon fiber.

While recycled carbon fiber modulus is basically the same as virgin carbon fiber, it also offers a 20 – 40% cost savings over virgin carbon fiber alternatives. Even with its 10-20% reduction in tensile strength, recycled carbon fiber remains one of the strongest of all commercial reinforcing fibers available today. Couple these benefits with the sustainability implications of giving new purpose to the 3,500 to 5,000 metric tons (>7.5 million to 11 million lb.) per year of recycled carbon fiber capacity and the potential of what was once considered “waste” becomes staggering.

ZOLTEK now offers Recycled OX and Carbon Fiber forms as a part of our comprehensive product inventory. We believe this commitment to responsible production complements our mission to drive industries forward through stable pricing, supply availability, and advanced technology. Similar to the evolution of virgin carbon fiber as an available resource for commonplace applications, we believe recycled carbon fiber will be a large player in the next generation of commercial production around the globe.

As always, the ultimate goal is to connect our customers with a form of carbon fiber that is uniquely suited to their application. Although recycled carbon fiber may not yet be the ideal solution for every applications, we’re eager to partner with our customers to pursue the power of an even more sustainable carbon fiber in mainstream markets.

While maintaining many of the attractive properties of virgin chopped carbon fiber, ZOLTEK’s recycled chopped carbon fiber also provides cost-saving and sustainability benefits. ZOLTEK’s two forms of recycled chopped carbon fiber are characterized by high strength and modulus, low density, dimensional stability, and low thermal expansion. They are also electrically and thermally conductive making them ideal for compounding with general engineering thermoplastics (e.g., PC, Nylon, etc.) and high-temperature thermoplastic resins (e.g, PEEK, PEI, etc.).

It is worth noting that, while recycled fiber properties vary, leading R&D indicates that properties reduction of only 3-5% compared to virgin carbon fiber has been exhibited in reclaimed chopped and milled fibers used to make thermoplastic compounds such as bulk molding compound. ZOLTEK recycled chopped fiber is readily available in pellet, flake, or stick form.

ZOLTEK Recycled Chopped Carbon Fiber – Type 45 is characterized by high strength and modulus, low density, dimensional stability, and low thermal expansion. It is also electrically and thermally conductive.

Material OverviewSIUS
Sizing Content2.5% ± 1.0% by weight2.5% ± 1.0% by weight
Moisture Content0.20% maximum0.20% maximum
Unpacked Bulk Density (minimum)350 g/L21.8 lb/ft3
Fiber Length (nominal)6 mm0.25 in
Download Complete Datasheet

ZOLTEK Recycled Chopped Carbon Fiber – Type 65 is characterized by high strength and modulus, low density, dimensional stability, and low thermal expansion. It is also electrically and thermally conductive.

Material OverviewSIUS
Sizing Content2.5% ± 1.0% by weight2.5% ± 1.0% by weight
Moisture Content0.20% maximum0.20% maximum
Unpacked Bulk Density (minimum)350 g/L21.8 lb/ft3
Fiber Length (nominal)6 mm0.25 in
Download Complete Datasheet

ZOLTEK’s recycled felts act as a lower-cost, sustainable alternative for thermal, fire, and spark barriers. Produced leveraging ZOLTEK’s 20 years of experience as the largest producer of oxidized PAN fibers in the world, our recycled felts maintain many of the properties of virgin oxidized PAN felt but at a fraction of the cost.

Similar to virgin oxidized PAN felt, recycled felt can be used in a diverse range of high-temperature applications. It is available is various thickness and areal weights and can be blended with other strengthening fibers. As with any recycled carbon fiber form, Zoltek’s recycled felt carbon fiber modulus is basically the same as virgin carbon fiber and although there is a potential 10-20% reduction in tensile strength, the inherently flame-resistant properties of oxidized PAN fiber make even recycled forms an effective heat-block and fire barrier material.

ZOLTEK’s recycled milled fiber is ideal for high-volume applications that require strength and/or electrostatic dissipation. Similar to virgin milled fiber, ZOLTEK’s recycled milled fiber is produced using a proprietary in-house milling system. This process ensures superior product quality and traceability despite the estimated 3-5% properties reduction characteristic of recycled fiber. The low-cost benefits of any ZOLTEK milled fiber form are further enhanced by the cost-saving nature of recycled fiber production process. The end-result is a sustainable solution regularly used in resin-rich surface reinforcement for composites, low-cost friction compounds, and RFI/EMI shielding of electronic devices.

Material OverviewSIUS
Carbon Content92% minimum92% minimum
Electrical Resistivity0.00155 ohm-cm0.00061 ohm-in
Density1.81 g/cc0.065 lb/in3
Bulk Density (Packed)350 g/L21.8 lb/ft3
Fiber Diameter7.2 μm0.283 mils
Average Fiber Length100 μm (MF150)4 mils
Download Complete Datasheet

Similar to virgin staple fiber, recycled staple fiber is ideal for production of the high-quality nonwoven felts and fine spun yarns. In fact, ZOLTEK’s recycled staple fiber maintains many of the same uses, applications, and benefits of virgin staple fiber, but at a 20-40% cost-savings.

Our recycled staple fibers are oxidized/stabilized PAN fibers (OPAN) and thus inherently fire resistant. This sustainable alternative to virgin OX staple fiber is thermally stable, exhibits resistance to chemicals and solvents and is electrical nonconductive. With over 20 years of experience, ZOLTEK is the largest oxidized PAN fiber producer in the world. Now we’re applying our fine-tuned process to the creation of recycled OX staple fiber, thus leading the industry in terms of sustainability and efficiency.

ZOLTEK produces recycled OX staple fiber that is available in three denier size and various cut lengths that can be tailored to fit the exact needs of a unique application.

 

Applications.

ZOLTEK Recycled Fiber Applications

Ideal as a lower-cost alternative for many commercial applications, Zoltek Recycled Carbon Fiber couples the power of carbon fiber with a focus on sustainability.