One of the strengths of composites is that they are incredibly robust, but that can make reuse or recycling more challenging.
A revolutionary new technology developed by the NCC and Oxford Brookes University means composite structures can now be disbonded quickly and cheaply using a simple heat source.
By adding low-cost materials to off-the-shelf structural adhesives, composite parts could be separated from each other in as little as six seconds with the directed application of low heat without a significant impact on their normal performance.
This means composite components may be easily repositioned and reused during manufacturing – reducing waste, enabling easier repair in operation, and making them more efficient to recycle. With the NCC proving that the process can work at scale, it could have a transformational impact on the design, use and end-of life recycling of a wide range of products, including cars, aircraft and wind turbines.