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WET-COMP: Wet-laid technology application for textile residues revalorization in composites industry

The main objective of WET-COMP project is to validate and demonstrate that the wet-laid technology is useful for obtaining a lot of different textile non-woven materials got from textile wastes, revalorizating these type of wastes in form of composites for technical applications, reducing, as well, the wash-off of these wastes.

The principle of wet-laying is similar to paper manufacturing. The difference lies in the amount of fibres present in a wet-laid nonwoven. A dilute slurry of water and fibres is deposited on a moving wire screen and drained to form a web. The web is further dewatered, consolidated, by pressing between rollers, and dried. Impregnation with binders is often included in a later stage of the process. The strength of the random oriented web is rather similar in all directions in the plane of the fabric. A wide range of natural, mineral, synthetic and man-made fibres of varying lengths can be used. The wet laid process allows different fibres to be intimately blended to give a tailored product which exhibits the optimum properties of each fibre type.

Previous R&D projects have shown that this technology is useful for obtaining some non-wovens from textile wastes but it will be very innovative to get a global vision for the textile/composites sectors on the possibilities of this technology, which wastes can be revalorizated, for which technical application and which are the economical/environmental benefits. The project also aims at elaborating a common Procedure for Textile Wastes Revalorization using Wet-Laid technology applicable in spinning and weaving/knitting subsectors and defining the different applications in composites sector. Also it aims at validating the enterprise benefits applying wet-laid technology to obtain textile reinforcements for composites derived from textile wastes. The non-woven materials obtained by means of properly application of textile wastes in wet-laid process will be used as composites reinforcement. Several composites manufacturing techniques will be considered to obtain the final products.

The project will contribute to the application of the politics and community legislation regarding wastes and in particular the Directive on waste disposal and the frame directive on wastes, specifically in the revalorisation and wash-off reducing issues.

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