Centexbel organised the third International Conference on Circular Economy for Textiles and Plastics on the 17 & 18 November 2022 in Ghent, Belgium. The conference presented a variety of new technologies, business models and approaches to measuring circularity. One thing that was common to all was the clear message that the textile industry, with a contribution of some 8% towards total greenhouse gas emissions, must adapt its current processes and transition to a more sustainable model.

Effective circularity and recycling requires less mixed materials, but the functional requirements for products does not always realistically allow this. To resolve this challenge, DECOAT is testing technologies that allow the debonding on demand of materials using the Indar primer from Rescoll and the Creasolv process from Frauenhofer that can separate target materials in solution. The work on textiles using the primer was presented at the Centexbel conference on Textiles Circularity to great interest of those present, in particular from flooring manufacturers.

Maxime Olive from partner Rescoll presented the concept of debonding on demand that allows to separate two bonded layers using a trigger, usually heat. Together with partner Vaude they have successfully tested the debonding of a PU coating from a polyester textile at the Centexbel labs.

The same technology has been used for other use cases, such as separating the PU foam cockpit parts from their skin so that they can be reconditioned or recycled as separate materials. This application is being tested together with partner Mercedes Benz in Turkey to improve the circularity of their buses.