Boeing signs deal with British company to recycle aerospace waste materials
U.S. aerospace giant Boeing Company (Boeing) Wednesday signed a five-year agreement with Britain-based ELG Carbon Fibre (ELG) to recycle aerospace waste materials from Boeing factories in the United States.
Under the deal that is the first of its kind in the aerospace industry signed by the two companies, Boeing said it will provide ELG with excess aerospace-grade composite materials from Boeing's 11 manufacturing sites for recycling.
The cured and uncured carbon fiber waste will come from the Boeing composites manufacturing operations, including the 777X Composites Wing Center in Everett, Washington state, Boeing Charleston facility in South Carolina and eight other manufacturing locations.
The recycled materials from cured and uncured carbon fiber used in airframes such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the 777X will be repurposed for making secondary products like laptop cases, car parts and other items in manufacturing applications.
The agreement will help Boeing reduce solid waste by more than 1 million pounds (about 453,592 kg) every year. Boeing is the largest producer of aerospace-grade composite materials.
"Boeing has been working for several years to create an economically viable carbon fiber reuse industry. The company improved its production methods to minimize excess and developed a model for collecting scrap material," Boeing said.
"Recycling cured carbon fiber was not possible just a few years ago," said Tia Benson Tolle, materials and fabrication director for Product Strategy and Future Airplane Development at Boeing.
Boeing started a pilot project with ELG in March 2017 to recycle excess materials used to produce the massive wings of the 777X airplane at its plant in Everett, Washington state.
The new partnership with ELG will support its goal to reduce by 20 percent solid waste going to landfills by 2025, Boeing said.
It also noted that Boeing and ELG are considering expanding the agreement to include excess materials from three additional Boeing sites in Canada, China and Malaysia.