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Boeing, BMW teaming up on carbon fiber research

Keywords: Tags  Boeing, composites, BMW, aerospace, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — Aerospace company Boeing Co. and German automaker BMW Group have signed an agreement to collaborate on carbon fiber recycling research.

Chicago-based Boeing and BMW, which are both boosting their use of carbon composites in their manufacturing, said they also will share information about carbon fiber materials and manufacturing as part of the collaboration.

Boeing’s commercial aircraft production is based in Washington state’s Puget Sound area. BMW opened a plant in Moses Lake, Wash., last year to provide carbon fiber parts to Boeing, including carbon fiber passenger compartments for its 2013 i3 and i8 models, both of which are being assembled in Leipzig, Germany. Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner is made up of 50 percent carbon fiber composites.

Larry Schneider, vice president of the aircraft manufacturer’s Boeing Commercial Airplanes subsidiary, said the collaboration is a "very important step forward in developing the use and end use of carbon fiber materials," citing the importance of finding "end of life" uses for composite materials.

Boeing called the agreement "the first in the history of either company."

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