Provisional textile demonstrators by Centexbel, Procotex, Vanheede (BE) and IYTE (TR)

For the recovery of the textile fraction of bulky waste within the framework of the URBANREC project, three Belgian partners (Centexbel, Procotex and Vanheede Environment Group) work in close cooperation with the Turkish partner IYTE, a research university. At the moment three different demonstrators, which could be produced from the recovered textile fraction, are provisionally defined. 


Long fibres will be applied to produce needlefelts, short fibres will be evaluated for the production of short fibre reinforced plastic composites and the less-well defined mixed fraction of textile waste will be investigated for production of wood plastic composites (WPC).


Preliminary work to manufacture soft and hard needlefelts from post-industrial waste is already presented via Procotex. Procotex has the knowledge to unravel different textile fabrics and retain to a maximum extent fibre length and properties. These purified long fibre fractions can be used for the production of a variety of needlefelts. As a first objective, a needlefelt initially coming from post-industrial waste will be produced for further use by the Spanish project partner Delax (a matrasses producer). In a later stage, the production of these needlefelts will be done from selected textile fractions from bulky waste collected by the inter-municipal public organisation for waste management IMOG.


First tests were already performed by Centexbel – the Textile and Plastic Converting Competence Centre – to develop short fibres reinforced composites. Optimisation of blending efficiency and compatibilisation is ongoing to improve the performance of in first instance polyolefin. The addition of short fibres will result in a reinforcement of virgin polymers or can be applied to give recycled polymer fractions a reinforcement to obtain a similar strength as virgin polymer.

For the recycling of the hard plastic fraction, Vanheede is improving its internal sorting unit to separate different polymer types and to obtain at first pure polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) fractions. At a later stage this sorting technology will be compared or can support the recycling and fractionation technology developed at ECOFRAG (ES). The recovered PE and PP fractions are now exchanged with IYTE (TR), who will investigate the possibility of these materials to produce WPC. Additionally, fibre fractions are also provided to IYTE in order to investigate if a partial addition of fibres in WPC can lead to reinforcement and improved properties.

» Author: URBANREC

» Publication Date: 01/12/2016


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement N° 690103