New materials from carbon fiber waste, also for aerospace

Creating new resistant, lightweight and low-cost composite materials for the automotive and aerospace sectors from carbon fiber processing waste is the goal of the three-year project MARiS, funded by the Ministry of Business and Made in Italy with over 5 million euro, which includes ENEA, Aerosoft spa (leader), Cnr (Institute for polymers, composites and biomaterials), University of Salerno (Department of Physics) and ATM srl.

The high-level properties of carbon fiber reinforced plastic matrix composites allow to create extremely light and resistant products to manufacture components for fuselages, wings and aircraft seats, car bodies and coverings up to the latest generation of tennis rackets.

“In recent decades the use of carbon fiber composites, a very expensive material, has grown exponentially in aerospace and automotive. At the same time, the quantity of both end-of-life composite products and production waste has increased, which can reach up to 20% of the material used already in the first phase of processing”, explained Sergio Galvagno, researcher at the ENEA Nanomaterials and Devices Laboratory and project manager for the Agency. “Finding new ways for their reuse – he said – constitutes an advantageous management strategy to improve the life cycle and the environmental and economic sustainability of these materials”.

The project is divided in three phases: the first involves the study of the constituents of the fibre-reinforced composite material, fiber and plastic matrix to test its level of recyclability. The second involves the development of the consolidation technology of the materials obtained from the study of recycling. The third and final phase involves testing consolidated materials, obtained from recycling, in the creation of test components.

ENEA is involved in the activities relating to the recovery and reuse of waste materials and their valorization and is committed to evaluating the potential environmental impacts associated with the production of consolidated laminates.

“MARIS is an opportunity for ENEA to experiment with our processes on new generation materials in the aeronautical composites sector, to develop new ways to use recovered carbon fibres, also through 3D printing processes”, said Galvagno.

“Having succeded in attracting important and qualified partners in the MARiS project is an important step for us at Aerosoft, which confirms our capability to attract collaboration activities in strategic research areas”, said Nicola Carannante, technical director of Aerosoft spa. “The MARiS project, in fact, combines various objectives that align with the European guidelines on industrial development: moving towards a circular economy and industry to satisfy the requirements of environmental sustainability, curbing waste linked to the production of carbon fiber reinforced plastics, the so-called CFRP, Aerosoft wants to lay the foundations for the establishment of a supply chain that aims at recovering carbon fibers and reusing them,  through a consolidation process of the fibers into pre-consolidated sheets, ready for use and applications in aerospace and automotive ”, said Carannante.

The CFRP sheets will be manufactured at the Aerosoft factory in Capua.


For more information please contact:
Sergio Galvagno, ENEA – Nanomaterials and Devices Laboratory,




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