“Upcycling of pet through micro-reinforcement for use in high value applications”
The objective of the PET2VALUE ICON-project is to develop an upcycled micro-reinforced recycled PET, that can be reused in other processes (extrusion, 3D printing) within other companies. Agfa together with UGent will upcycle the PET-waste from the film processing at Agfa. Afterwards, the upcycled rPET-flakes will be transformed into pellets and powder by newly developed techniques at Agfa. The micro-reinforced rPET-pellets will be extruded into filaments by Centexbel and further extruded by Luxilon into sustainable tennis racket strings with comparable mechanical properties as the actual commercial strings, made of virgin polymers. The reinforced rPET powders, pellets and filaments will be examined and optimized by UGent, Centexbel and Tenco for the use in 3D-printing processes. BCF will apply 3D printing techniques on the rPET-materials for the development of more customized and sustainable bike parts (eg. handlebars). The VUB will support the other partners by firstly gathering experimental data on the mechanical properties of the upcycled micro-reinforced rPET-pellets, filaments and 3D-printed structures and secondly developing numeric models to predict and optimize the mechanical properties of the tennis racket strings and the 3D printed bike parts.
As a result of this project, less PET-film waste needs to be incinerated, which has a positive impact on the CO2 exhaust. And secondly, the resulting end products will be more sustainable according the circular economy criteria.