Fraunhofer IVV Information from April 2010

Energy and Resource Efficiency Improvement through Recycling of Abrasive Grains and Polyamide from Waste of the Abrasive Filament Production with the CreaSolv®-Process

Project Duration: 2009 until 2011 

Project Execution Organization: German Environment Foundation - Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt DBU


Technical brushes are widely used in the manufacturing industry. These brushes, for example, are made from natural fibres, synthetic fibres (with and without abrasive grains) or metal filaments, and are used for deburring of components made from plastic, wood or metal.

 

They may also be used for surface treatment (e.g. rust and coating removal, polishing or treatment of the surface structure) or the cleaning of components.

In Germany alone, 800 tonnes of abrasive filaments are produced from a polyamide carrier material that is filled with abrasive grains made from silicium carbide, diamond or ceramic.

rem_aufnahme_schleifkorn_-_schleifborstenrecycling.jpg
REM picture of recycled abrasive corn

Driven by the customer specific cut of the filaments a yield loss of up to 160 tonnes annually has to be taken into account. The end-customers are then faced with similar yield losses and normally treat the used filaments as waste

Complete raw-material recycling of such waste volumes, at the place of production, would preserve immense resources and reduce the emission of more than 1.000 tonnes of the greenhouse gas CO2. To date recovery failed due to the lack of robust recycling technologies for very abrasive waste. Raw-materials of high value and quality - among others industrial diamonds with a value of several hundred Euros per kilogram - also end up in this waste. 

creasolv_process_-_eng.jpgWith the CreaSolv®-Process (registered trademark of the CreaCycle GmbH) developed at the Fraunhofer-Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging, raw-material recycling will be possible. A polyamide filament matrix is dissolved in a solvent formulation followed by the separation of the abrasive grains from the polymer solution. The development and supply of the non-classified solvent formulation is the responsibility of the project partner CreaCycle GmbH.

The aim of the Research Project is the transfer of a proven laboratory scale process into a small technical scale process for the production of samples and technical brushes from recycled raw-materials. This will provide a basis for technical and financial product evaluation, as well as an economic evaluation of the process. The industrial implementation is foreseen at the manufacturing site of the project partner Hahl Filaments GmbH (Affiliate of the Lenzing AG).

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