Improving mechanical textile recycling by lubricant pre-treatment to mitigate length loss of fibers - Projects
Improving mechanical textile recycling by lubricant pre-treatment to mitigate length loss of fibers
Updated : October 2020
Textile chemicals professionals
Textile waste management professionals
This study aims to investigate whether a pre-treatment with lubricant could mitigate fiber length reduction from tearing. Additionally, this study set out to develop a new test method to assess the effect of lubricant loading. Inter-fiber cohesion was measured in a tensile tester on carded fiber webs.
The researchers used polyethylene glycol (PEG) aqueous solution as a lubricant to treat fibers and woven fabrics of cotton, polyester (PES), and cotton/polyester. Measurements of fiber length and percentage of unopened material showed the harshness and efficiency of the tearing process.
Treatment with PEG solution decreased inter-fiber cohesion, reduced fiber length loss, and facilitated a more efficient tearing process, especially for PES. The study showed that treating the fabric with PEG enabled rotor spinning of 100% recycled fibers. The inter-fiber cohesion test method suggested appropriate lubricant loadings, which were shown to mitigate tearing harshness and facilitate fabric disintegration in recycling.