OAS wins Innovate grant to conduct rescued carbon fibre study

Innovate UK has awarded £233,000 to Oxford Advanced Surfaces (OAS), a specialist surface modification and advanced materials company, to develop surface treatments that can be used to create new lightweight composites from rescued carbon fibre.

OAS has won backing in the ‘light weighting’ category of the Integrated Delivery Programme 12 (IDP12) initiative and will support feasibility studies into how the weight of vehicles – and therefore CO2 emissions – can be reduced.

Scientists at OAS are working in collaboration with The University of Manchester on its feasibility study.

Philip Spinks, OAS chief executive officer, said: “The potential is very exciting because using rescued materials is great for the environment and is economical because it’s finding a higher value-add application for a recycled product.”

OAS will use carbon fibre that has been reclaimed from a variety of waste sources during its feasibility study and the Oxfordshire-based company is confident it can deliver a new composite specification that will bring significant benefits to the automotive industry.

“Recovered composites do exist, but our challenge is to use our expertise in surface treatment to develop a new breed of composite,” Dr Jon-Paul Griffiths, OAS technology manager, added. “The target is to be able to give the OEMs access to new materials that are suitable for use in a number of automotive applications, rather than just a handful. This evolution will prove beneficial when they are addressing the challenge of balancing performance, weight and cost.”

OAS has 18 months to complete its ‘rescued carbon fibre for use in the automotive industry’ feasibility study. It aims to develop data sheets and prototypes that will highlight uses for the new composite material it will develop.

Author
Tom Austin-Morgan

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