Cider | Circular product design for automotive components made from recycled and sustainable composite material

Sustainable and circular product design for composite material

Currently, the use of sustainable and circular composite material in the transport sector is minimal. Recycling options are often not at the needed technological level and in the design phase the recycling possibilities of the product at not considered. Therefore, the »Cider« project aims to develop and implement truly circular composite material by implementing circular design approaches for different components from the transport sector. Additionally this will be applied to the fiber and polymer component over multiple life cycles. 

»Cider« is a flagship project that combines applied research from various European companies and research institutes. This strong consortium develops innovative processes and sustainable designs for the European composite industry.

Cider | Sustainable and circular product design for composite material
© Fraunhofer IGCV
Cider | Sustainable and circular product design for composite material

Recycled and sustainable composite material for the transport sector

The overall objective of the »Cider« project is the development of sustainable, recyclable and recycled composite material for the transport sector. This will be achieved in developing three demonstrators over multiple life cycles of the fiber and polymer material. The detailed objectives are listed below:

Objective 1: Design and engineering of 100% recycled and recyclable demonstrator parts to replace actual steel variants. Through the sustainable and circular design of a metal free hydrogen tank and its recycling, a second-life automotive part with 100% recycling rate can be achieved. This provides a high reclamation of all materials for a cradle-to-cradle approach. »Cider« will work with recyclable matrix material and use rCF as the input materials.

Objective 2: Development and production of novel nonwoven material from recycled carbon fibres. »Cider« will develop a production technique for rCF material with higher mechanical properties to pave the way for the widespread use of recycled materials due to the application of a web drafter.

Objective 3: Substitution of critical raw materials. Through the circular use of composite material, the consumption of critical raw materials such as magnesium, which is used as an alloying element in aluminium in the 5000s and 6000s alloying series, niobium, which serves to enhance stiffness of steel or titanium, which is widely used in aviation applications, can be substantially decreased.

Objective 4: High quality insurance of the automotive part. Through the novel nonwoven technique the homogeneity of rCF nonwoven material will be improved. The design and simulation of rCF components will be enhanced through further testing and quality tasks of the rCF-parts.

Objective 5: Holistic approach in a closed loop economy. The hydrogen tanks will be recycled into two sustainable second life demonstrator composite parts. »Cider« will even go beyond the second life application and develop possible third life products to provide a circular material solution and decrease the consumption of virgin raw material. 

Recycling process in the CIDER project
© Fraunhofer IGCV
Recycling process in the CIDER project

More interesting reference projects on this topic:



Economic, technical and life cycle assessment of recycled carbon fibers in industrial processes.


MAI Scrap SeRO

From Scrap to Secondary Ressources – Highly Orientated Wet-Laid-Nonwovens from CFRP-Waste



Greenhouse gas reduction through high-quality recycling processes and materials



Innovative non-destructive method for in-line characterization and quality assurance of discontinuous recycled carbon fiber semi-finished products.

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The key sectors of Fraunhofer IGCV:

  • Mechanical and plant engineering
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive and commercial vehicles


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Reference projects

Get an overview of other reference projects at Fraunhofer IGCV.