Recycled Toray CF from Boeing 787 integrated into Lenovo ThinkPad

Toray Industries Inc has developed a recycled carbon fiber (rCF) derived from the production process of Boeing 787 components using the company’s TORAYCA advanced carbon fiber.

The rCF, which is based on pyrolysis recycling process, has been integrated into the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12 as reinforcement filler for thermoplastic pellets. Toray and Lenovo will continue to collaborate to expand the use of rCF in other Lenovo products.

Toray rCF is the outcome of Boeing and Lenovo’s shared commitment to minimize their environmental impact. Boeing’s objective is to reduce solid waste going to landfill and produce recyclable materials, while Lenovo has been exploring materials to reduce the carbon footprint of their products. Toray rCF repurposes Toray’s high-performance carbon fiber from the Boeing aircraft production process into Lenovo’s ultra-light laptop PC.

Yasumichi Tsukamoto, executive director and distinguished engineer, Commercial Product Solutions Development at Lenovo, said: “Lenovo is committed to implementing sustainable practices and strive to make a positive social and environmental impact through our business. Working with Toray and Boeing to integrate recycled carbon fiber material into our next generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon is another step in our transition to a circular economy.”

Boeing said: “Collaborating with universities and industry, Boeing has helped advance technology for recovering carbon fiber from composite materials – diverting it from landfill and creating a market for this high-value recycled material as feedstock for new products, including laptop casings. Using carbon fiber composite materials on Boeing airplanes reduces weight thereby increasing fuel efficiency. As reuse of residual carbon fiber composite materials from airplane manufacturing processes increases, product lifecycle impacts are further reduced.”

TORAYCA is an established aerospace material known for its high strength, stiffness, and lightweighting properties. These qualities have led to its adoption in other applications such as electrical and electronic equipment housings, sports equipment, and other industrial applications.

Given that the carbon footprint of rCF is lower than that of virgin carbon fiber, Toray is proactively recommending the adoption of rCF to reduce the environmental impact of customers’ products.