Project Description

The main goal of DECOAT is to enable circular use of textiles and plastic parts with (multilayer) ‘coatings’, which are typically not recyclable yet. These ‘coatings’ comprise functional and performance coatings and paints as well as adhesion layers. Therefore, novel triggerable smart polymer material systems and the corresponding recycling processes will be developed. The triggerable solutions will be based on smart additives (like microcapsules or microwave triggered additives) for the ‘coating’ formulations that will be activated by a specific trigger (heat,humidity, microwave, chemical).
A continuous recycling pilot plant will demonstrate the novel DECOAT principle that allows upgrading existing
mechanical recycling by adding tools for sorting by and activation of the trigger. The optimal use of the Creasolv®
process for recycling of coated parts will be assessed. The focus is on recycling of the bulk material, but re-use of the
coatings materials themselves will also be tackled. Using these recycling processes, circular use of demo cases for
outdoor gear, household electronics and automotive parts will be validated.

Project Structure

Need, Goals and Objectives.

The Need

The last decade has experienced a strong increase in technological developments for improved material functionality. One of these involves surface treatments, which employ complex (multilayer) structures designed to provide multifunctionality in a single solution. Within DECOAT, for the sake of simplicity, we will refer to these complex multilayer surface treatments as ‘coatings. This definition includes functional and performance coatings on textiles, paints on plastics, foil lamination and adhesion layers for plastics parts (polymer-polymer and polymer-metal connections). These ‘coatings’ have a wide range of advantages and benefits but currently cannot be recycled because of their hybrid nature.

The Goal

Recycling of coated and painted textile and plastic materials.
The main goal of DECOAT is to enable the circular use of coated parts by developing novel smart polymer material systems, and their corresponding recycling processes, currently a missing link. We will demonstrate the project results via concrete use-cases for outdoor gear, household electronics and automotive parts. A systemic approach for delivering breakthroughs all along the value chain will be followed.
To reach this ambitious goal and to maximise the impact of our DECOAT project on the textile and plastics sector, we
define eight concrete key objectives.

Decoat systemic approach for delivering breakthroughs all along the value chain.

Example diagram.


1. Development of a toolbox of triggerable materials for debonding on demand suitable for use on textiles and plastics.
2. Development and design of triggerable debonding coating solutions for ‘disassembly’ of parts or objects and for ‘removal’ of the coating from the multilayer structure. Focus is on acrylates, polyurethanes and PVC materials.
3. Automation of sorting according to the required trigger.
4. Integration of debonding systems in a continuous pilot plant recycling line for coated parts.
5. Demonstration via use cases (outdoor gear, household electronics and automotive parts) using the pilot recycling
plant and the adapted coating processes during manufacturing.
6. Assessment of environmental impact and implementation of safety-by-design (safe product, safe production and safe use and recycling).
7. Exploitation and business plans for the DECOAT results, including for the use cases manufacturing guidelines to
ensure implementation at industrial scale. Further, for the more generic results (design-material concepts) a thorough analysis will be done for wide scope exploitation within the textile and plastics sectors.
8. Dissemination and communication among relevant European communities. The main target is the European materials and recycling community, supplemented by the wider stakeholders group, both for getting extra feedback during project implementation and for promoting our results.