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Minimizing the impact on the planet

Published on November 29th, 2017

During the course of an America’s Cup campaign, a team may only compete with one boat but the testing stages resulted in a heap of equipment that didn’t make the cut. And after each competition, it all goes on display or to the dump… and mostly to the later.

British challenger Land Rover BAR, which has sought to aim their spotlight on the environmental issues plaguing the planet, is working to ensure the carbon fibre process waste and end-of-use components from their America’s Cup test and race boats are recycled as far as possible.

Carbon fibre is energy intensive to manufacture and most waste currently goes into landfill. But the team has partnered with ELG Carbon Fibre, which operates the world’s first and largest carbon fibre recovery plant, so that its carbon fibre manufacturing waste and end-of use parts will be processed to recover the high performance carbon fibres they contain.

The recovered fibres will be converted into ELG’s milled and chopped fibres which are used to make thermoset and thermoplastic compounds and nonwoven mats that are utilised in the manufacture of composite structures. This collaboration is seen as a vital step in addressing the issue of global carbon consumption and raising awareness of closed loop recycling within the marine industry.

ELG’s product engineers will work closely with Land Rover BAR’s engineering team to develop applications for the recycled carbon fibre for Great Britain’s entry in the 36th America’s Cup. This will be achieved through the utilisation of their CARBISO™ range. The CARBISO™ products will be made entirely from reprocessed Land Rover BAR carbon components such as hull moulds, hulls and foils from boats used in recent America’s Cup campaigns.

“Our desire to be the world’s most sustainable sports team has meant that recycling the significant amounts of carbon fibre that we use in boat construction has been a concern for us for some while,” said Michel Marie, Manufacturing Manager at Land Rover BAR. “This will be a very significant issue, not just for the marine industry but for the wider world in the coming decades and we have to start now and push hard to develop awareness and find solutions.”


Source: Land Rover BAR, Scuttlebutt

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