The growing importance of sustainability
The growing trend towards global environmentalism and sustainability has been embraced by textile and yarn manufacturers and FET is at the forefront of innovation to help make this objective possible.
Sustainability means different things to different people, ranging from partial recyclability through to ensuring that every stage and process minimises environmental impact. For a fibre to be considered sustainable, both the polymer source and the end use of the product should also be taken into account.
The typical polymers used in fibre production are made from fossil fuels, a non-renewable resource with a high carbon footprint. Polymers made from renewable resources are a viable alternative to fossil fuels and can be broadly divided into two categories:
- Bio-based Polymers are produced from biomass feedstocks such as starch, cellulose, lignin, fatty acids, plant and vegetable fats/oils.
- Recycled Polymers repurpose existing materials, extending their usable lifetime and reducing the need to manufacture new material. Recycled materials may be sourced from closed loop recycling, post-industrial waste, post-consumer waste and chemical recycling.
FET and Sustainability
FET has long been a leading exponent of sustainability in fibre technology. The FET range of laboratory and pilot Melt Spinning extrusion lines is ideally suited for both process and end product development of sustainable materials, enabling customers to undertake process development in-house. All systems are designed to be material efficient, can be bespoke designed and offer both flexibility and a high level of processing capability. They are supplied as self-contained units for ease of installation in a laboratory or small scale process evaluation environment.
Sustainable fibre applications and market sectors served by FET include:
- Medical – resorbables, PPE, face masks, gowns and bandages
- Textiles – flooring, bedding, clothing, footwear and sportswear
- Manufacturing – 3D printing, automotive, composites and filtration
- Consumables – coffee filters, tea bags
- Agriculture – tying twines, strimmer lines