Recycling machine manufacturer EREMA launches the INTAREMA fiberPro:IV – which has been specially developed for PET fiber-to-fiber recycling – at ITMA in Milan from June 8 to 14.
In the new EREMA machine, the rPET produced can be reused in proportions of up to 100 percent for the production of very fine fibers due to its especially gentle material preparation and efficient removal of spinning oils
“The fibers and textiles application is not completely new to us, because our PET recycling machines have already been used in fiber recycling. However, in order to reuse these recycled fibers in higher-quality applications, a new technological solution was needed,” explains Wolfgang Hermann, Business Development Manager at EREMA Group.
PET is regarded as a key material for the production of synthetic fibers. Around two-thirds of the total volume of PET goes into the production of PET fibers for the textile industry. This highlights the importance of high-quality recycling solutions for the circular economy. By combining proven INTAREMA technology with a new IV optimizer, EREMA succeeds in processing shredded PET fiber materials heavily contaminated by spinning oils in such a way that the finest fibers can be produced again from recycled pellets.
The system, which now joins EREMA’s machine portfolio as the INTAREMA fiberPro:IV, is characterized by a longer residence time of the PET melt. This is an essential factor for achieving high-quality recycled pellets, as it allows the spinning oils and other additives used to improve the handling of the fibers during manufacturing to be removed more efficiently than in conventional PET recycling processes. Following extrusion, by polycondensation the intrinsic viscosity (IV) of the PET melt is increased in the new IV optimizer and under high vacuum to the precise level that is needed for fiber production.
“Including filtration the output quality that we achieve with this recycling process is so high that ultra-fine fibers of up to 2 dtex can be produced using these rPET pellets, with an rPET content of 100 percent,” says Markus Huber-Lindinger, Managing Director at EREMA. Waste PET fiber from production processes can therefore be further processed into rPET filament fiber, carpet yarn and staple fiber.
While the focus of the fiber and textiles application is currently still on PET fiber recycling, EREMA is committed to driving forward the recycling of mixed fiber materials from classic textile recycling collection in a next project phase. In order to accelerate development work, the EREMA Group opened its own fiber test center, where a cross-company team is working on recycling solutions for fiber-to-fiber applications. The center also operates a fully equipped and variable industrial-scale recycling plant. It includes the peripheral technology required and is available to customers for trials.