Finnish reseach center VTT has developed a cylindrical extruder that could help with the processing of recyclable materials. The extruder can be used to turn textiles and plastics as well as food waste into pellets, while in addition to recycling, the device has been used to produce long fiber composites, and it can also be utilised in food and feed processing.
‘Many textile recycling processes are only suitable for products containing homogeneous fibers,’ said VTT senior scientist Pirjo Heikkilä. ‘However, textiles are often made of a mix of fibers, and many products are comprised of different layers. The new extruder opens up a revolutionary opportunity to recycle mixed textiles and materials without having to separate fibers or components.’
The first prototype has a screw diameter of 30 cm instead of the 3–4 cm typically found in conventional devices of the same output. This large diameter combined with a shallow screw channel makes it possible to mix different components of porous and lightweight materials and to make the mixed mass compatible with the next stage of the production process, the scientists say.
VTT says that it is currently looking for a partner to commercialise the technology.
This story uses material from VTT,with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.