New Fiber-Reinforced Honeycomb Material Uses Recyclable Synthetic Fiber
Olefin is a common type of synthetic fiber that is best known for its overall resilience against most other things that other synthetic fibers might be weak against.
But what’s more fascinating about this fiber is that despite being treated in the same manner as plastic (economically), it is actually more environment friendly than other synthetic fibers. The first reason is that there aren’t much chemical byproducts produced when it is created. The second reason is that olefin is easily recyclable, needing only simple extraction processes to retrieve that material for remanufacturing.
Kurabo and Gifu Plastic Industry have developed a new type of material that uses olefin as the core material. Named the TECCELL-FB, it is officially described as a fiber-reinforced honeycomb material. It does not actually present any totally unique features, since reduced weight and great impact resistance are already shown by other synthetic materials. However, it seems to be capable of exhibiting those qualities more efficiently (for its weight). In addition, what made it more noteworthy is that it is very recyclable due to the use of olefin in its internal structure.
Originally, Gifu Plastic Industry released a previous version of the material labeled the “TECCELL”, which is simply made of the olefin honeycomb structure. However, the new material that was developed introduced the idea of integrating NEOMATEX, a very durable surface material developed by Kurabo. In comparison to the older TECCELL, the new TECCELL-FB is reported to have two times the bend strength and at least four times the maximum shock load, while maintaining the exact same weight.
Due to obvious business reasons, not much technical information was revealed about the product. The introduction of the material only included a short demonstration of its industrial properties, and a glimpse of the project outline for the products economic availability. This would mean that they do not have specific products made of the material that can be sold yet. However, it has been confirmed that the material will be sold as a joint venture between the two companies.
Research for newer and better synthetic materials has been going on since the dawn of 20th century modernization. However, even though developed synthetic materials were able to fulfill the needed industrial requirements most of these were never actually made with eco-friendliness in mind. That is why the problem that we have with our trash today continues and worsens each passing day.
The research for bioplastics and biofabrics aims to solve the inherent problem of synthetic materials, but as shown by metal recycling industries, a much simpler solution is to close the entire industrial cycle. A complete recycling loop between the manufacturing and retrieval process can ensure that the environment does not come into contact with these would-be harmful materials. TECCELL-FB might not have the same eco-friendly value as bioplastics, but its high recyclability allows it to arbitrarily cancel out its environmental effects. Besides, with a material that’s reported to be that durable, it is quite unlikely that products made with such material would be disposed of quickly.
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