18 Oct 2013
Reclaiming the resale market through repurposing
Newly crowned America’s Cup champions, Oracle Team USA has announced a joint venture that will see a 2.5 tonne racing yacht recycled. The project, will take place in partnership with Boeing, the University of Nottingham and MIT-RCF, a South Carolina company that recycles and repurposes carbon fibre components.
The project will see around 1.51 tonnes of carbon fibre recycled from the ultra-light racing yacht. Speaking exclusively to SuperyachtNews.com about the scalability of this process, MIT-RCF’s Jim Stike, whose company will oversee the repurposing, said the model had already been applied to Boeing’s commercial planes demonstrating the potential expansion of the model:
“We’re an advanced materials company that have been working with chopped carbon fibre for eight years now. About six years ago Boeing came to us with the 787 fleet – 60 per cent of which is carbon fibre. Their problem was that, in 20 or 30 years time, when those planes come out of service, there’s no way of handling the carbon. We will reclaim that and repurpose it.” And when one reaches the scale of recycling one of the world’s largest aviation fleets, the sums paid by MIT-RCF to obtain the carbon fibre are significant. “We’re now looking into ‘de-engineering’ for huge structures, such as yacht hulls or windmill blades”, or one presumes masts, “and we can utilise the reclaimed carbon fibre.”
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