Process- and material-induced heterogeneities in recycled thermoplastic composites

Guillaume A. Vincent, Thomas A. de Bruijn, Sebastiaan Wijskamp, Martin van Drongelen*, Remko Akkerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
99 Downloads (Pure)


A novel recycling solution for thermoplastic composites (TPCs) was recently implemented. The processing steps comprise shredding of TPC offcuts to flakes of a few centimetres, melting and blending of the flakes in a low-shear mixer, extrusion of a molten mixed dough and subsequent compression moulding in a press. This material and process are similar to the compression moulding of long-fibre thermoplastics (LFTs) that have been in the market for decades, such as glass mat thermoplastics (GMT) or direct-LFT. However, the input material in this recycling route consists of multi-layered woven flakes, which is very different from the pellets or chopped rovings of other LFTs. Process- and material-induced heterogeneities such as fibre orientation, percolation, variation of fibre fraction, or fibre attrition may be different for this new material. The development of this recycling technology and future industrial applications require more confidence in the material and process. The objective of this study is to characterise these heterogeneities for this recycling solution, and compare them to those generated in regular LFTs. It was found that the process- and material-induced heterogeneities of the recycled TPCs are similar to other LFTs, for the aspects listed here: fibre orientation, percolation, variation of fibre fraction and fibre attrition. In comparison to GMT, the effect of the mixing step is particularly noticeable on the local variation of fibre fraction within the panels. Industrial applications of this recycling route will benefit from this similarity, as it improves the confidence in the material and process combination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2530-2551
JournalJournal of thermoplastic composite materials
Issue number12
Early online date15 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • fibre-matrix separation
  • heterogeneities
  • long-fibre thermoplastic
  • Recycling
  • thermoplastic composites
  • fibre orientation


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