Hexcel and FAIRMAT have announced a commercial agreement for the recycling of Hexcel carbon fibre prepregs as well as FAIRMAT’s leasing of the Hexcel Bouguenais (Loire-Atlantique) facility.
FAIRMAT, a French deep tech company engaged in the virtuous recycling of carbon fibre composites, will recycle carbon prepreg off-cuts manufactured by Hexcel European plants at the Bouguenais plant. FAIRMAT will begin to set up the new site in early 2022 with production scheduled to start in March 2022. A target has been set to recycle most off-cuts from Hexcel’s European facilities by the end of 2022.
Under the partnership, FAIRMAT will lease a former Hexcel facility in Bouguenais (Loire-Atlantique) where it will recycle trimmings and off-cuts that have been generated during carbon fibre prepreg production at Hexcel European plants.
Hexcel off-cuts will be recycled for use in composite panels, specifically for transportation applications, event organisation, furniture, and mass market electronics. These markets will now benefit from a low-weight material that is eco-friendly, low-cost, and highly resistant and significantly more efficient than a conventional material.
FAIRMAT has developed a virtuous recycling process capable of circularising the manufacture of carbon fibre composite materials, thereby giving a second life to this high value-added material. Carbon fibre and resins are mainly cold treated, leading to reduced energy costs and avoiding traditional landfill or incineration solutions. FAIRMAT’s clean recycling process is expected to save 41kg of CO2 emissions per kilogram of recycled carbon composite compared to virgin prepregs. FAIRMAT is aiming for a capacity of 5,000 tonnes of recycled material annually in this first production site.
“With FAIRMAT, Hexcel has found an industrial recycling solution for the carbon prepreg off-cuts generated at all our European facilities, as well as for our customers,” commented Thierry Merlot, President, Aerospace - Europe, MEA/AP and Industrial at Hexcel. “This is a major innovation, at the core of the Nantes aerospace composite ecosystem, that fully supports our environmental sustainability policy. Hexcel is delighted with this key collaboration.”
FAIRMAT Founding Chairman, Benjamin Saada added: “We are proud of the trust Hexcel has placed in us by signing this strategic partnership. The commercial agreement covering the first tonnes to be recycled in Europe will enable us to complete the industrial scale-up of our virtuous recycling technology by the end of the year. I originally founded FAIRMAT with a totally circular vision in mind, so it was important for me to be able to reuse an existing industrial facility to launch our production. I’m delighted that FAIRMAT is rapidly advancing towards its goal of giving advanced materials a second life.”