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Consortium targets recycling solutions for coated materials

Specialist provider of finishing technologies for textiles Devan Chemicals is part of a new EU-funded project that aims to find solutions to the problem of coated and painted textiles and plastic materials that cannot currently be recycled.

The project is to be known as DECOAT. Its consortium, which is led by Belgian research and design centre CENTEXBEL, held a launch event in February at the EU Commission in Brussels. 

There is a total of 17 European partners from across the value chain including design, manufacturing, NGOs, and research and innovation. Among the notable partners is German outdoor brand Vaude. 

DEOCAT has been established to investigate what Devan calls “triggerable smart polymer material systems” as well as suitable recycling processes. The solutions will be based on smart additives (such as microcapsules of microwave-triggered additives). By creating coatings and other finishings that are activated by a specific trigger (e.g. heat, humidity, microwave, chemical), the project believes it can make coated materials easier to recycle. 

Devan’s role in the project is to develop microcapsules that release their active core on application of a certain trigger at the of life of the article. One way in which this could be useful is by promoting the detachment of different coating layers, making it possible to recycle or re-use the base materials. 

The four-year project’s declared aim is to decrease landfill of coated articles by 75%. It is also aiming for a reduction in the carbon footprint of such items of at least 30%. 



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