An investigation of the effect of metal catalysts on thermal recycling of glass fiber-reinforced epoxy was carried out within a fluidized bed system. CuO nanopowder was integrated with epoxy to assess its ability in reducing the epoxy thermal stability and in turn reducing the typical temperatures required thermal recycling for epoxy composites. It was found that the CuO was able to significantly accelerate the thermal degradation of the selected epoxy. The CuO loading of 5 wt% of epoxy provided the largest reduction in thermal stability and activation energy of the second stage of decomposition. It was also demonstrated that the addition of CuO did not negatively affect epoxy mechanical properties or curing and in fact increased the epoxy glass transition temperature. When applied to glass fiber-epoxy (GF-epoxy) recycling within the fluidized bed process, glass fibers were recycled at just 400°C with a yield of up to 59%. POLYM. COMPOS., 40:3510–3519, 2019.
- metal catalysts
- thermal recycling