Seperation of VAE polymers in assembled materials

Vinyl Acetate Ethylene (VAE) polymers find diverse applications across various industries, such as:

  • Textile and Non-Woven Applications.
  • Textile Finishing: VAE dispersions enhance textile properties, providing features like washability, a pleasant hand feel, and color intensity. They are used for printing on textiles, softening fiber structures, and achieving desired colorfastness.
  • Flame Retardant Finishing: VAE-VC dispersions contribute to flame retardancy in textiles due to their chemical structure. They can be combined with other additives to create coatings that meet stringent safety requirements.
  • Decorative wall Coatings
  • VAE serves as the foundation for water-based adhesive polymers. These adhesives are used in various applications, including laminates, paints, and coatings.
  • Recycling and Sustainability:
    • VAE strengthens recycled materials, from plastics and textiles to concrete. It plays a role in creating more sustainable products and processes.
  • Low Emission Formulations:
    • VAE is favored for applications requiring low volatile organic compound (VOC) formulations. As environmental regulations become stricter, VAE gains prominence in this context.

General benefits of VAE polymers

VAE polymers contribute to improved textile properties, flame retardancy, coatings, and sustainable practices across different industries. Furthermore, many VAE grades are solluble in Alkaline solutions, and therefore, for example, labels could be separated from returnable and reusable beer-bottles. To enhance the seperation process in other applications, mild solvents can be used, such as within the Creasolv® process.

VAE polymers enable the recycling of many materials, like furniture (wood), textiles and carpets.

Seperation to enhance recycleability with the Creasolv process

The CreaSolv® Process is an innovative method developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV to efficiently recycle plastics. The method consists basically of the following steps:

  • Selective Separation: The CreaSolv® Process selectively separates plastic polymers from complex mixtures. It effectively isolates the target plastic from other materials like metal, wood, and undissolved polymers.
  • Dissolve: First, the target polymer is dissolved in a specially formulated solvent. These solvents are non-hazardous for users and the environment. The specific solubility of polymers allows their recovery with high purity. Safety is ensured through high flash points of the solvents.
  • Clean: Undissolved components are mechanically removed. Dissolved substances (such as non-target polymers, printing inks, aluminum oxide, odorants, and hazardous substances) are removed at the molecular level using special purification steps.
  • High-Quality Recycled Plastic: The CreaSolv® Process produces recycled plastic with virgin material properties. Contaminants and additives that reduce the quality of recycled plastic in conventional processes are effectively removed. This means a wide variety of very pure plastics can be recovered, even from mixed plastic waste. These high-quality recycled plastics can then be used to manufacture new plastic products.

Applications Where Creasolv® has been tested

  • Packaging Recycling: The CreaSolv® Process enables the recycling of both post-consumer packaging and post-industrial waste in a closed-loop system. It can be customized for specific waste material compositions.
  • Contaminated Plastic Recycling: Pure, high-quality polymer fractions (such as (E)PS, PVC, ABS, PC/ABS, HIPS, and PP) can be recovered from contaminated plastic waste.
  • Plastic Composite Recycling: Customized process cascades are used to recycle plastic composites, recovering valuable secondary raw materials from the waste stream.

In summary, the CreaSolv® Process contributes to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to plastic recycling by ensuring high purity and material quality in the recycled plastics