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R&D: Exeter University seeking collaboration with carpet industry

Last month's Carpet Recycling UK conference brought together industry professionals to discuss future developments for carpet recycling, in particular the need to close the loop between design, manufacture and end of life disposal. Important ideas and developments are on the horizon in relation to manufacturing, materials and sustainability, but it was clear that businesses seeking to make a jump to the next level of the waste hierarchy do require answers to some key issues.

To support the development of carpet design that enables resource recovery at end of life, a single polymer composite solution would enhance fibre and polymer recovery and allow more carpet materials to be reused. Secondly, research in the USA and Europe will hopefully begin to help with the segregation of materials. Longer-term development of substitute adhesives compatible with the fibres used is needed for higher value recycling.

As a result of the conference, links have now been formed between CRUK members and Exeter University's Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing, led by Head of Engineering Professor Steven Eichhorn. The University is looking at using sustainable materials for a variety of new applications from vehicle brakes to fibre technologies and is interested in hearing from any stakeholders in the carpet sector who would like to explore the potential of collaboration in this field.

For more information on research opportunities please contact Sarah Brooks: s.brooks2@exeter.ac.uk.

MSc research engineers, Exeter University
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