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Investigating material liberation of multi-material structures through shredding

Heibeck, M.; Rudolph, M.; Reuter, M.; Filippatos, A.


Most products in consumables, aerospace and automotive industry are multi-material structures, which consist of materials connected through different joining techniques. Multi-material design aims for optimizing performance during production and service phase but usually does not consider the recycling. During recycling, materials combined in multi-material structures need to be liberated, i.e. disconnected, again to enable high material recoveries in subsequent recycling processes.
The goal of this study is to investigate material liberation of multi-material structures through mechanical processing, namely shredding. An experimental study is conducted where automotive A-frame-based specimens are shredded in a rotary shear. Particle analysis and characterization is supported by computer tomography. Furthermore, a first approach to model material liberation using Finite Element Method is introduced. This study is a contribution to estimating product recyclability in terms of material liberation already at the design stage, thereby supporting the design-engineer in sustainable design and product optimization.

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