The German BB Engineering VacuFil process transforms polyester waste into high-end textile filament and fibre products.
Developing a circular economy involves handling post-consumer or post-production waste efficiently. The recycling of PET products made by synthetic fibres contributes significantly to this cause. It is essential to this cause that along polyolefins and polyamide, polyester is also recycled. Recycling polyether and converting the waste into new high-end products within the polyester filaments, fibres and nonwovens market are considered great technological advancements. Across the globe, consumers in the markets are demanding sustainable products. Many brands are demanding recycled polyester textiles from suppliers to step into the new change.
Consumers social awareness has triggered this change in the industry. Recycled polyester has long been prevalent within the high-end textile segment. However, in many cases, the recycled quality of polyester did not comply with the industry standards. The BB Engineering GmbH developed VacuFil recycling process and stepped in to create this change. The VacuFil enables the manufacture of extremely homogeneous, viscosity-stable rPET melt, enabling The VacuFil enables the manufacture of extremely homogeneous, viscosity-stable rPET melt. As they have experience of manufacturing components and systems the company is familiar with the impact of the smallest viscosity deviation has on the spinning plant process. VacuFil, has succeeded in aligning the melt with the process in a targeted manner. Macro- and microscopic melt homogeneity is accomplished through homogenization drying, controlled plasticizing, gentle filtration and controlled vacuum degassing.
The first downstream process can either melt granulated or feed directly into the end product’s manufacturing process. Recycled polyester, produced using the BBE VacuFil process, can further be used in challenging downstream processes, which includes the manufacturing of FDY filaments. BBE is a pioneer in the development of processes for using recycled materials, particularly polyester flakes, and converting them into contemporary, market-appropriate products for filaments, fibres and nonwovens for manmade fibre industry consumers.
BBE is the exclusive supplier of extrusion filter technology for various synthetic fibres such as, polymers, particularly polyester, for its parent companies. BBE is always aware of the requirements of the further-processing industry in terms of granulate and melt made from recycled polyester.
VacuFil premiered at the ITMA 2019 in Barcelona, garnering considerable attention at the trade fair. Since the launch, numerous test has been conducted on the pilot system at Remscheid site using authentic waste material supplied by various customers. The recycled polyester procured from VacuFil has been successfully spun into POY and FDY. The various viscosity targets are not an issue for VacuFil due to their Visco+ vacuum filter. The VacuFil unites gentle large-scale filtration and swift intrinsic viscosity build-up for consistently-outstanding melt quality. The VacuFil systems open up various possibilities for processing polyester waste. The entire recycling process is controlled and monitored by Oerlikon Barmag’s GUIDE system, guaranteeing the accustomed reliability.
Matthias Schmitz, VacuFil product manager, stated that the close collaboration between the future operators of the system and their experts ensures that projects are successful. He added that tests carried out using authentic raw material supplied by customers in our small-scale production system guarantee a sophisticated process that complies with the mentioned requirements. He explained that their process visualization system, customers always have a close eye on the broad operating window and the optimum operating point. He concluded that this not only saved costs but increased productivity.
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