Investigation of the Fiber Length and the Mechanical Properties of Waste Recycled from Continuous Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polypropylene

April 29, 2024


This paper explores the mechanical recycling of continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTPs) waste into injection molded products, focusing on the influence of recycling parameters on fiber length and mechanical properties. CFRTPs are gaining attention for their promising attributes, including weight-specific mechanical properties, short cycle times, storability, and recyclability, making them suitable for diverse applications. However, as CFRTP production rates rise, recycling strategies become crucial for sustainability. This study investigates the processability of CFRTP waste, defines size reduction conditions, and evaluates the impact of various compounding parameters such as temperature, screw speed, and fiber volume content during extrusion. The research findings indicate that higher screw speeds lead to fiber length reduction, whereas elevated temperatures result in longer fibers. Increased fiber volume intensifies interactions, resulting in shorter lengths. Additionally, the study examines the influence of injection molding parameters such as back pressure, screw speed, and initial fiber length on the resulting fiber length and mechanical properties of injection molded specimens, emphasizing the need for precise parameter control to optimize performance in recycled CFRTPs. Key findings are that increasing the initial fiber length from 260 μm to 455 μm results in an average fiber length after injection molding of 225 μm and 341 μm, respectively. This implies that longer initial fibers are more prone to breakage. Regarding the mechanical properties, increasing back pressure from 20 bar to 60 bar results in a reduction in Young’s modulus of approximately 40 MPa. Higher screw speed also reduces modulus by approximately 70 MPa due to intensified fiber–screw interactions. However, back pressure and screw speed have neutral effects on the tensile strength and the elongation at break.


MohammadKarimi, Shiva et al. “Investigation of the Fiber Length and the Mechanical Properties of Waste Recycled from Continuous Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polypropylene.” Recycling (2023): n. pag.