Research course

Low Cost Recycled Carbon Glass Fibre based Sandwich Composites for Electric Cars Vehicles and Aerospace Sector

Cranfield University · Manufacturing
MSc by research

Entry requirements

Applicants should have an equivalent of first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline in engineering or science (chemistry/physics). The ideal candidate should have some understanding in the area of materials science, mechanical engineering (or related field), manufacturing, chemistry or physics background. The candidate should be self-motivated, have good communication skills for regular interaction with other stakeholders, with an interest for industrial research.

Months of entry


Course content

We are pleased to announce MSc by research project in “Low Cost Recycled Carbon/Glass Fibre based Sandwich Composites for Electric Cars/vehicles and Aerospace Sector”. This project aims to utilise recycled carbon/glass fibre composites (derived from the end of life waste components from aerospace and automotive composite structures) to produce low cost secondary structural components.

The extensive use of the carbon/glass fibre composites in aerospace sector, wind turbine blades, marine sector has given rise to a challenge of disposing these composites at the end of their life. This challenge also offer an excellent opportunity to extract recycled carbon/glass fibres which can be available at much lower cost than the virgin/original glass/carbon fibres. In many cases the carbon/glass fibres extracted from discarded composites (from wind turbine blade, aircraft frame etc.) at the end of life can still offer significantly good mechanical properties. Such fibres can offer ideal solution for the low cost manufacturing of lightweight components for automobile industry, in particular for the electric cars industry. The electric cars are rapidly gaining popularity in automotive markets in Europe, America and Asia. However they still have relatively low driving range due to the limited battery life. The low cost, lightweight automotive components (such as door frames, bumper, trunk, hood, floor panel, car roof), manufactured from recycled composites can significantly reduce the weight of electric car resulting in longer driving range while keeping low cost for the electric car.

This project will focus on using recycled carbon/glass fibres derived from discarded composites in combination with the recycled thermoplastics polymer such as polypropylene and PET. We will develop efficient manufacturing methods for recycled carbon/glass fibres and recycled thermoplastics using compression moulding (similar process to sheet moulded compound); the manufacturing process will be optimised to minimise the thermal degradation of the recycled plastics so as to maximise the strength/modulus of the new recycled component. We will develop a scaled down version of prototype of electrical vehicle composite component such as car roof panel, door frame or floor panel. We will also develop sandwich composite structures using recycled rigid polyurethane foam components and skin from recycled carbon/glass fibres; such sandwich composite panel can offer much higher stiffness and bending rigidity needed for range of structural components used in electric vehicles as well as secondary structural components in aerospace industry. The composite manufacturing and testing will be carried out using the world class composites manufacturing and testing facilities available at the Enhanced Composites and Structures Centre, School of Aerospace, Transport & Manufacturing at Cranfield University.

Qualification and course duration

MSc by research

full time
12 months

Course contact details

Dr. Sameer S Rahatekar