Resource Efficiency Assessment of Alternative Composite Curing Processes
For the manufacturing of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics (CFRP), more precisely for the curing phase, alternative process technologies are available. These technologies use different types of facilities and forming tools as well as different mechanisms for the heat input and the load application. Thus, the required amount of energy, the needed source materials and the ancillary input of the machines vary widely. Since the resource efficiency of production processes gains in importance, considerations of the inputs, outputs and the ecological impact of CFRP manufacturing processes are essential. In this work, three CFRP manufacturing processes were comparatively investigated with a gate-to-gate analysis following ISO 14044 to reveal the appropriate CO2-emissions and the global warming potential. The curing processes in a vacuum-oven process, a wet pressing process and a prepreg-autoclave process were considered. As a functional unit, an endless reinforced thermosetting CFRP-container served. During the inventory analysis phase all elementary and energy flows of the several process steps of the mentioned technologies were documented. The subsequent impact assessment shows, that for the single piece production in oven and press, the mold exerts the greatest influence on to the global warming potential with a share over 94 %. However, in the autoclave the process energy has the greatest share with over 46 %.
Jörg Franke, Sven Kreitlein, Gunther Reinhart, Christian Gebbe, Rolf Steinhilper and Johannes Böhner
J. Jahn et al., "Resource Efficiency Assessment of Alternative Composite Curing Processes", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vol. 871, pp. 267-274, 2017