MOSCOW (MRC) -- Toray has announced that it has developed technology to create a recycled nylon 66 recovered from discarded silicone-coated airbags offering the same flowability and mechanical properties as virgin nylon 66 injection moulding grades, said the company.
Airbag fabric can be coated or non-coated with silicone. Recycling of the non-coated fabric is common practice; Refinverse was the first in Japan to achieve commercial-scale silicone-coated fabric recycling. It strips the silicone from airbag fabric scrap cuttings, after which these are washed.
Toray obtains material from the Refinverse Group, Inc, which it compounds with certain additives to create its high-quality recycled nylon. It is introducing the new material under the Ecouse (pronounced Eco-Use) brand name. Ecouse is the proprietary integrated brand for eco-friendly recycled materials and products that Toray rolled out worldwide in 2015.
An issue with recycling through stripping and washing has been the traces of silicone that fail to be eliminated during the process, degrading the resin and contaminating the moulds during processing. Another issue has been that the high viscosity of the airbag yarn limits applications in thin-wall and other injection moulding processes requiring high fluidity.
Toray incorporated certain additives that prevent any residual silicone resin from migrating to the surface of moulded products, and at the time, considerably reducing mould adhesion. The result is a recycled nylon 66 resin with flowability and mechanical properties on par with those of virgin material.
Toray plans to start full-fledged sample work in April 2023 or later, and ultimately looks to procure recycled raw materials at its overseas sites to establish a global supply system. It will also explore commercialising recycled nylon 66 products made from airbags recovered from end-of-life vehicles.
To date, the company has focussed on recycled plastic products derived primarily from post industrial scrap materials from in-house production processes. It aims to extend recycling to used automotive parts and industrial equipment. Toray is also planning to expand its Ecouse portfolio further, among other with Ecouse Toraycon, a chemically-recycled polybutylene terephthalate resin product that has properties equivalent to virgin materials; Ecouse Toyolac acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and Ecouse Torelina polyphenylene sulfide.
We remind, Toray Industries, Inc., announced that it has developed a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film that combines excellent applicability and adhesion for water-based and solvent-free coatings and can eliminate solvent-derived carbon-dioxide emissions. The company looks to produce the film at a domestic plant by end-March 2024 to help popularize eco-friendly film products for which decarbonization during manufacturing is desirable. These items include release, adhesive, printing, packaging, and automotive films.