A patent registered by SRAM, a privately owned bicycle component manufacturer in the United States, demonstrates the company's intention to improve carbon recycling throughout its portfolio, as published by CyclingIndustry News.
Submitted in the third quarter of last year, published in March of this year, the patent document explains how the carbon fiber manufacturing process will minimize waste and recover usable materials that may have been previously discarded.
The difference between SRAM’s patents and existing methods is that SRAM has discovered new ways to turn carbon waste into easier-to-use materials. From the patents, it appears that the group’s scientists have completed the process through considerable trial and error, resulting in devising a material with adequate strength from recycled materials, as one of other attributes.
In this patent application, SRAM suggests that this process can also be applied to other fibers such as glass fiber and Kevlar.
In the case of carbon, the scrap is mixed with a release paper remover that separates the resin from the carbon, leaving only the carbon residue and the viscous resin blend.
From here, the rest is combined with another resin and diluent to finally provide a mixture of carbon, the old resin and the new resin.
With this process, the manufacturer not only wants to avoid the high cost of landfilling materials, but also wants to reduce the cost of producing carbon fiber products in an environmentally friendly way.
CyclingIndustry.News contacted SRAM to explain the carbon recycling process and the intended use of the recovered product in a little more detail.