Did you know that recycled plastic granules are used not only for the secondary production of plastic products, but also for polyester fiber? This synthetic fiber is used to make various textile products: clothing, blankets, carpets, etc.
To produce polyester fiber, a technological process is carried out over PET granules. The granules are melted and passed through an extruder, dosed by a pump, filtered and fed into a spinneret. The melt jets are cooled in a vertical shaft, which consists of a blower shaft with air supply and an accompanying shaft without air supply. The formed fibers are lubricated and accepted for packaging.
Are polyester fibers produced in Ukraine? Yes, of course! The most extensive production is synthetic batting, synthetic down, and hollowfiber.
• Synthetic batting is a material made from polyester fibers by their thermal processing, which melts part of the fibers, bonding the fabric. Synthetic batting and products made from this material can be found in almost every household: outerwear, furniture upholstery, pillows, mattresses, blankets, covers, children’s soft toys, and other products.
• Synthetic down is a synthetic non-woven filler. The name reflects the essence of the product itself – an artificial analog of the natural down. Can be used in a variety of products: jackets and coats, sleeping bags, pillows and cushions, comforters and quilts, etc.
• Hollowfiber – the thermoplastic polyester is used as a raw material base. Its threads are twisted into springs and then blended together. Due to the fact that the material is produced using the soldering method, hollowfiber becomes resistant to high temperatures and humidity. Hollowfiber is used as insulation for outerwear, as a filler for pillows, blankets, mattresses, furniture, toys, and covers. It is also used in heat and sound insulation materials, and as a filler in various filters.
Is this fiber safe?
Polyester fiber made from recycled plastic is subjected to a thorough cleaning and testing process to meet established environmental standards and regulations, which ensures its safety for human health. Cleaning polyester fiber involves several steps that guarantee its quality and safety:
- Washing: The first stage is the washing of the fiber, during which special washing solutions or detergents are used. This helps to remove any contaminants from the fiber surface that may be present as a result of production processes or the external environment.
- Bonding: The next step is the bonding process, during which the fiber is treated with special solvents. This process helps to remove any residual chemicals that may be present on the surface of the fiber after washing.
- Filtration: After spinning, the fiber passes through filters that ensure the removal of the smallest contaminant particles that may remain. This includes filtering the air and water used during the cleaning process.
- Drying: The last step is to dry the fiber. After cleaning, the fiber is subjected to a moisture removal process to reach the required moisture level for further use. This can be accomplished by drawing, heating or using special drying systems.
Each of these steps is important to guarantee the quality and safety of the polyester fiber. They are aimed at removing potentially harmful substances, contaminants and other impurities that may affect the use of the fiber. The resulting fiber has a smooth and uniform structure, making it safe for skin contact without the risk of irritation or allergic reactions.
Standards and regulations for the use of polyester fiber from recycled plastic.
The use of polyester fiber from recycled plastic is regulated by various rules and regulations that ensure its safety and compliance with environmental standards. Some of the most important regulations include:
- OEKO-TEX® certification: OEKO-TEX® is an internationally recognized standard that ensures the safety of textile products. Polyester fiber from recycled plastic certified to this standard confirms the absence of harmful substances and high environmental quality.
- The European Union REACH Directive: REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) is the European Union’s regulatory requirements for chemicals. It regulates the use of chemicals in the production of polyester fiber and requires the documentation of their safety and impact on human health and the environment.
- Sustainable production standards: Various organizations and standards, such as the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) and Bluesign®, set requirements for the sustainable production of polyester fiber. They regulate plastic recycling, energy efficiency, water use and other aspects aimed at reducing negative environmental impacts.
- National legislation: Each country has its own laws and regulations that define the standards for the use of polyester fiber from recycled plastic. For example, in the United States, there are laws such as the Toxic Substances Control Act, which regulates the use of chemicals in the textile industry.
- International quality management standards: Organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develop quality management standards that can be used in the textile industry. For example, ISO 9001 establishes requirements for a quality management system that helps ensure the safety and quality of polyester fiber.
These standards and regulations help to ensure that polyester fiber made from recycled plastic is safe, environmentally friendly and of high quality. They help ensure compliance with standards in the production, use and labeling of products, and contribute to the sustainable development of the textile industry.
Polyester fiber or natural fillers?
Polyester fiber, made from recycled plastic, has significant advantages over other fillers such as down, feather, or wadding. Let’s take a closer look at them:
- Human health: polyester fiber is environmentally safe, does not contain allergenic substances, and does not harbor dust mites, fungus, and mold, which reduces the risk of respiratory problems.
- Environmental side: the use of recycled plastic helps to reduce the negative impact on the environment and conserve natural resources.
- Ethical issues: down and feathers are collected by beating or slaughtering birds, whereas the use and popularization of polyester fiber allows for a gradual reduction in such processes.
- Durability and ease of care: products made from this fiber last longer without requiring constant replacement. They are also easy to wash and dry quickly, which simplifies the process of caring for them.
Thus, polyester fiber made from recycled plastic is not only safe for human health, but also has many advantages over other fillers. It contributes to environmental preservation, helps solve the ethical problems associated with down and feather harvesting, and ensures the durability and ease of care of products. These factors make polyester fiber an attractive choice for manufacturers and consumers in the textile industry, contributing to sustainable development.