Wowza! Now this sounds like a big job, I’m talking, 7,000 pounds big. Boeing and Oracle Team USA are partnering up to recycle 7,000 pounds of carbon fiber! The hull and the mast of the USA-71 yacht, built in 2003 for the America’s Cup, and winner of the 34th America’s Cup, will be processed and repurposed.
“The introduction of composites in yacht construction was a major step in our sport. The materials and processes have continued to evolve, allowing us to build the high-tech, high-speed AC72 catamarans raced in this year’s America’s Cup,” said Chris Sitzenstock, ORACLE TEAM USA logistics. “Now, we have the ability to work with Boeing to take the next steps in composite recycling, and to help reduce our environmental footprint. We will also look to recycle carbon components remaining from the build of our yachts.”
This is the first time anything like this has ever been done. It will likely be the biggest carbon structure recycled ever! Pretty cool. Boeing and Oracle Team USA will be working with the University of Nottingham in the UK and MIT-RCF, a company located in South Carolina that’s main focus is repurposing carbon fiber components. The hull of the USA-71 will be cut into 4 foot sections, while the mast is going to be chopped into smaller pieces before being processed. About 75 percent of the recycled composites will come from the hull and the remaining 25 percent from the mast.
Below are some fun facts about the USA-71:
- Launched in June 2002
- First America’s Cup Class yacht built by ORACLE TEAM USA for training during the 2003 campaign
- Boat was a corporate symbol in front of Oracle Corp. headquarters for 6 years
- Total hull weight: 2.5 tons
- Weight of composites to be recycled: 7,000 lbs. (about 3,175 kg)
- Length: 25.2 meters (84 feet)
- Width: 3.8 meters (12 feet)
- Height of the mast: 32 meters (105 feet)
- Weight of the bulb: 19 tons
- Sail surface area: 325 m² upwind, 750 m² downwind