WHAT

Ocean Family Foundation seeks out existing or start-up conservation projects that have a positive impact on marine life and ocean health across diverse global locations.

WHAT

Ocean Family Foundation seeks out existing or start-up conservation projects that have a positive impact on marine life and ocean health across diverse global locations.

We welcome all funding proposals. Please contact us via InTouch

Ocean Family Foundation enjoys funding varied initiatives where the work may be hands-on activity out in the field or delivered through a variety of multi-media platforms. As Ocean Family Foundation we enjoy these relationships and witnessing the valuable impact of each endeavour.

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OCEAN FAMILY FOUNDATION SPONSORS MARCELLE HECKER

The Ocean Family Foundation is sponsoring Marcelle Hecker, a fourth year PhD student from the EPSRC-funded CoSEM Centre of Doctoral Training (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/composites/cdt/) in the Bristol Composites Institute at the University of Bristol, to carry out her PhD research project in collaboration with North Sails.

As most Kiwis do, she developed a love for sailing and the ocean and got interested in how humans can live on and with the sea. In Bristol, she is focusing on the sustainability of composites in the marine sector and specifically in the yachting industry where vast amounts of composite materials in the form of sails currently go to waste. Marcelle is working on investigating economically feasible and environmentally benign methods to reclaim the high-value carbon fibres from sails and re-manufacture secondary composites from the recovered materials.

FROM SAIL TO STRUCTURE

END-OF-LIFE SAILS AS A FEEDSTOCK FOR CIRCULAR MANUFACTURING

The yachting industry currently does not have a waste-management plan for end-of-life sailcloth. While the reuse of some sailcloth is carried out on the small scale with the production of novelty bags and shoes, most sails are simply stored for many years upon reaching the end of their useful life, and then landfilled. This mismanagement of ‘waste’ is detrimental to the environment and also a huge loss of valuable materials, as most sails are now essentially composite materials made up of a combination of valuable synthetic fibres, coatings, adhesives, films, and other chemical additives.

The most advanced sails produced by the world’s largest sailmaker, North Sails, are flexible carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites, and the aim of this project is to investigate economically feasible and environmentally benign methods to reclaim the high-value carbon fibres from North Sails’ “3Di” range of sails and re-manufacture secondary composites from the recovered materials.

Thus far, carbon fibres from an EOL 3Di sail have been reclaimed via two gasification-type processes. One process was conducted in a controlled air atmosphere (carried out by ELG Carbon Fibre (prior to 2022)), and the other in a controlled superheated steam (SHS) atmosphere, while undergoing pressure-swing cycles (carried out by B&M Longworth). The successfully reclaimed carbon fibres have been remanufactured into aligned discontinuous fibre reinforced composites (ADFRCs), using the High-Performance Discontinuous Fibre (HiPerDiF) manufacturing technology, invented at the University of Bristol, to lay out a possible waste-management route for EOL 3Di sails. The mechanical characterisation of this material is currently underway, before a demonstrator will be manufactured to show a complete recycling route, from sail to structure.

Ocean Family Foundation is a registered charity in England & Wales (1174759).
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