The demand for carbon fibres is driven by the trends of electro mobility, energy efficiency (lightweight construction) and high-performance materials. The global demand for carbon fibres in 2017 was about 74,000 t/a. By 2022, the demand will increase by around 11 % annually to 120,000 t/a. Around 35 % of carbon fibres are processed in Europe. During carbon fibre processing (i.e. for reinforced plastics) around 40 % of carbon fibres are wasted. The unused potential by fibre wasting in component manufacturing in 2022 in Europe is hence approx. 336 million €/a (at a virgin c-fibre price of 20 €/kg).
A common approach to recycle carbon fibres to a new product is to produce staple fibre nonwovens. The strength of such nonwoven structures are descent but still worse than those of virgin carbon fibre surfaces such as wovens. In this paper, an overview about different approaches in given in which the electrical conductivity of the carbon fibres is used to create electrical functionalised materials in terms of heating, maintainence and electromagnetic shielding.