M.C. Gill Composites Center Works on Re-Use of Production Waste

Viterbi Staff | September 26, 2017

M.C. Gill Composites researcher receives top honors at national research competition

Bo Cheng Jin PhD ’17 is a researcher at the USC M.C. Gill Composites Center. Photo courtesy of Bo Jin.

M.C. Gill Composites Center’s research paper “Prediction of Stiffness of Reused Carbon Fiber/Epoxy Composite Oriented Strand Board (COSB) using Finite Element Methods” has been highlighted in SAMPE Journal as a feature article (September/October 2017, Vol. 53, No. 5, “Recycling Materials & Structures”).

Center researcher Bo Jin presented part of this work at the SAMPE (Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering) University Research Symposium hosted at Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX) in September 2016, and received the 3rd place (Ph.D. Category) in this national research competition.

In recent years, the commercial aircraft industry has relied increasingly on composite materials to produce lighter and more durable aircraft. Currently, Boeing and Airbus each generate ~450,000 kg (~1 million lb) of cured and uncured prepreg waste annually from airplane production (primarily 787 and A350 XWB). With the automotive industry poised to consume more carbon fiber and generate additional production scrap, recycling and reuse of composite production waste will soon be essential. In this work, Composite Oriented Strand Boards (COSBs), which are made of reused aerospace prepreg strands that are randomly oriented within the structure, were developed for stiffness-critical and contoured applications. Further development of this product form could markedly reduce the scrap generated during aerospace and automotive manufacturing processes.