Wednesday 2 January 2013

Nonwovens from recycled fibres and PLA

Bernd Gulich of the Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut e.V. (STFI – Germany) has been collaborating with Oerlikon Neumag to develop air laid nonwovens made from recycled short fibre material.  After air-laying with 20% bico and thermal bonding:-
  •         Waste paper gives a cardboard like material.
  •          Wool dust from felting is around 5mm long can be used for insulation and oil absorbents
  •          Shredded tyre cord from tyre recycling has been converted into oil absorbents.
  •          Shredded textile glass fibre makes insulation nonwovens.
  •          Dried grass (not hay) makes mouldable boards for automotive use.
  •          Nettle, poplar, coconut, kapok, hemp and of course cotton linters all make usable nonwovens or boards.
  •          Basalt fibres make insulation boards.
  •          Metal fibre sheets are under development.
  •          Leather waste with only 5-10% bico is air laid, hydroentangled and thermally embossed to look and feel like real leather.  This process is now running on a commercial scale in the UK.
Roshan Paul of Leitat Technological Center, Terrassa (Spain) was blending 5% cellulose powders into PLA during extrusion but provided no data on the performance of the resulting biodegradable plastic.  He had also prepared masterbatches of thermochromic dyes with PLA to make fibres for fire-protection clothing but admitted that the clothing gave no indication of skin temperature.  (Funding was provided by the EU 7th Framework.)

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