Bio-degradable Synthetic Fibres

This project will be divided into two sections. The first part is to develop a metal chelating technique to stabilize metallic pro-oxidants for degradable fibres with a controllable shelf life. And formulate novel recipes for three popular synthetic fibres (polyester, polyamide and acrylic) and to prepare degradable masterbatches accurately by using tailor-made twin-screw system with vacuum drying chamber. Then, the degradable synthetic fibres can be fabricated by melt spin system finally. The second part of the project is to develop a control mechanism for producing degradable fibres with desirable life span. Producing degradable polyester, polyamide and acrylic synthetic fibres would be the first of its kind in the textile industry. The major focus area is the disposal plastic fibres and products. The project deliverables can be applied to textile and apparel, medical and personal healthcare, as well as packaging and environmental industries using disposal plastic products.

The disposable and degradable synthetic fibres can be applied to the production of disposable health care products such as hairnet, mask and isolation gown. It could also produce other degradable nonwoven materials such as filters which have specific expiry dates and need to be replaced periodically.

Industry Benefit

Production process of the disposable and degradable fibres is simple and can make use of current manufacturing equipment. As there is no need to apply any plant-based materials into the production, the cost is low while good mechanical and thermal properties are maintained, fostering a diversified development of degradable textile products.

Technological Breakthrough

The synergistic effect among two or more transition metals can generate enough energy to overcome the activation energy barrier of synthetic polymers, breaking through the limitation of oxo-biodegradation and extending its application from thin plastic film to synthetic fibres. After over 150 formula tests, it is found that the technique has large potential to be applied to different kinds of synthetic polymers such as polyester.

Project Name (ITF)
Development of disposable and degradable synthetic fibres for textile industry by chelating dual/multiple metal ions masterbatch technology
Project Number (ITF)