DITF leads project to develop sustainable cellulose composite material

German Institutes of Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf (DITF) is leading a collaborative project to develop a sustainable and environmentally friendly material called Cellun. The project partners include CG Tec, Cordenka, ElringKlinger, Fiber Engineering, and Technikum Laubholz. The new material is set to replace carbon and glass fibres in the production of industrial moulded parts.

Cellun is made of a hybrid roving that combines non-fusible cellulose fibres and thermoplastic derived cellulose fibres as the matrix. The non-fusible cellulose fibres are from Cordenka while the HighPerCell cellulose fibres were developed by DITF. The resulting Cellun material can be processed using industrial methods such as hot pressing or pultrusion.

Organosheets, pre-consolidated semi-finished sheet products with a matrix of thermoplastics and various reinforcing fibres, are becoming increasingly popular in the lightweight fibre composite construction industry. However, the current textile reinforcement in organosheets consists mainly of energy-intensive to manufacture and recycle glass, carbon, basalt, or aramid fibres.

Cellun is a sustainable alternative to the currently used materials as it offers highly recyclable and functionalized components with reproducible quality. The material can be thermally reshaped without any loss of quality, and its components can be chemically separated to enable complete recycling after its end-of-life.

The project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), with a focus on the complete recycling of the Cellun material after its end-of-life. Two approaches are being researched, one being the thermal reshaping of Cellun moulded parts without any loss of quality and the other being the chemical separation of the material into its individual components.

This joint project is a significant step towards the development of sustainable and environmentally friendly materials in the fibre composite construction industry. The production of Cellun offers an efficient and sustainable solution to the use of energy-intensive and non-recyclable materials, and its complete recyclability sets it apart from other currently used materials.

With the potential for Cellun to replace carbon and glass fibres in the production of industrial moulded parts, it is expected to make a significant contribution towards reducing the environmental impact of the fibre composite construction industry. The development of Cellun is an exciting development for the industry and a step towards a more sustainable future.


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