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Canyon Bicycles GmbH is the most innovative cycle manufacturer in Germany and utilises the most advanced methods in R&D and quality control. These high standards also apply to the responsible use and appropriate disposal of materials used in the production process such as carbon fibre. Carbon fibre has the outstanding characteristics necessary for the development of high-end sports cycles, but must also be handled responsibly during the various production processes as well as at the end of its normal service life.
In order to meet the requirements for a responsible and comprehensive disposal of carbon fibre parts, Canyon Bicycles GmbH recently launched a cooperation programme with the CFK Valley Stade Recycling GmbH & Co. KG, a specialist in the disposal of high-tech lightweight carbon fibre. The specialists from Stade have a developed a recycling process, which is both energy efficient and low on emissions. The company has also opened Europe’s first industrial carbon fibre recycling installation at its site in Wischhafen.
During the development of carbon frames carbon parts which accumulate within the various development phases must be disposed of. These development phases include, for example parts of the prototype construction process or the diverse testing procedures employed by Canyon which also involve the destruction of frames. Whether it is within the scope of the assembly process of series models, their servicing, or in the event that carbon frames are damaged in a crash, carbon parts accumulate which also require professional disposal.
The experts of the CFK Valley Stade Recycling GmbH & Co. KG have succeeded in achieving a 100% recycling of the high-grade fibres by utilising the pyrolysis process, which involves the chemical decomposition of materials by heating them in the absence of oxygen. The recycled fibres can then be utilised in a variety of new production processes, thereby maintaining the high-tech characteristics of the materials. This new process also permits a reactivation of the production cycle and does not merely, in contrast to other processes, represent a temporary shift of the End-of-Life phase.
Canyon Bicycles GmbH is currently working with its partners on a follow-up project for the reintegration of recycled materials into the production of bicycle components. The aim is to ultimately integrate the recycled fibres into Canyon’s own product development and production processes.