Innovative bio-based textile opportunities for textile companies
14-12- 2020 - Modint has been involved with the BioTex Fieldlab since 2017, a research project in the field of biobased textile materials. The goal of the project was to develop new textile products, based on innovative fibers from biobased polymers and creating an open innovation pilot lab to show the potential of these new materials. The project has so far resulted in eight prototypes that were developed together with different companies within the textile chain. A selection of the delivered prototypes are; socks, carpets yarns, duvets and shirts (see some examples below), based on melt-spun or wet-spun biobased fibers (PLA and Ecopaxx) and yarns all produced in the pilot lab at Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen.
Socks from Ecopaxx PLA gloves PLA dress shirt
Why biobased polymers?
Biobased polymers are gaining popularity as a potential alternative to conventional synthetic products in the textile industry. The main difference is the fact that conventional synthetics are based on non-renewable fossil fuels, while biobased polymers are derived from sources such as starches, sugars and
lipids, making them (wholly or partly) renewable. Biobased materials are even biodegradable in specific circumstances, if no harmful components are added to the textile product, which contributes to a bio-cycle in the circular economy.
At this point, the project has been extended for another three years, which brings great opportunities for more companies to cooperate on R&D projects. In the lab, SME’s and other companies in the Netherlands can make use of available unique expertise and collaborate on new sustainable innovations in the biobased textile industry.
There are many possible options for materials, properties, volumes and production techniques. Materials used in the previously conducted R&D projects are mostly PLA, but other available biobased polymers will be suitable as well (such as bio-PA, bio-PET or PEF), or maybe you would even like to run trials on your own innovative materials. The lab has its own machineries, plus great connections with other production lants. This set up results in possibilities for filament or staple yarns, lab or industrial scale, wet spinning, melt spinning, and even compounding (to add additives). some (but definitely not all) of the machinery is shown in the pictures below.
Twin srew compounder Pilot Scale melt spinning machine Staple Force: Pilot scale fiber production