Current status of recycling of fibre reinforced polymers: Review of technologies, reuse and resulting properties

Géraldine Oliveux, Luke O. Dandy, Gary A. Leeke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

410 Citations (Scopus)
2046 Downloads (Pure)


A complete review of the different techniques that have been developed to recycle fibre reinforced polymers is presented. The review also focuses on the reuse of valuable products recovered by different techniques, in particular the way that fibres have been reincorporated into new materials or applications and the main technological issues encountered. Recycled glass fibres can replace small amounts of virgin fibres in products but not at high enough concentrations to make their recycling economically and environmentally viable, if for example, thermolysis or solvolysis is used. Reclaimed carbon fibres from high-technology applications cannot be reincorporated in the same applications from which they were recovered, so new appropriate applications have to be developed in order to reuse the fibres. Materials incorporating recycled fibres exhibit specific mechanical properties because of the particular characteristics imparted by the fibres. The development of specific standards is therefore necessary, as well as efforts in the development of solutions that enable reusers to benefit from their reinforcement potential. The recovery and reuse of valuable products from resins are also considered, but also the development of recyclable thermoset resins. Finally, the economic and environmental aspects of recycling composite materials, based on Life Cycle Assessment, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-99
Number of pages39
JournalProgress in Materials Science
Early online date14 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


  • Recycling technologies
  • Composite materials
  • Fibre reinforced polymers
  • Reuse
  • Structure–property relationship
  • Life cycle assessment


Dive into the research topics of 'Current status of recycling of fibre reinforced polymers: Review of technologies, reuse and resulting properties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this