Breathing new life into composite fabrics
Posted on January, 5th 2017.
The Serge Ferrari Group, a composite material manufacturer, has set up its own recycling plant, Texyloop, to transform its worn products into new raw materials.
After the 2012 Olympics, the London Stadium was completely dismantled. The 33,000 m2 of flexible composite roofing made by Serge Ferrari was recycled into cultivation mats and filtration membranes.
If when you hear the name for the first time, shiny red cylinders come to mind, you’re on the wrong track! The company Serge Ferrari is renowned in the building industry for its flexible polyester and PVC composite materials which, like majestic sails, are capable of bringing lightness to buildings.
Around the world, they dress Olympic and football stadiums, station platforms, and other large structures. They are also found in houses as window and veranda blinds, or are used for solar protection. They sometimes become designer furniture, or a composite fabric used in the world of yachting.
The Serge Ferrari Group has another peculiarity: it is the only manufacturer in its category to have structured its own recycling chain - known as Texyloop.
Pioneer of the perma-circular economy
The adventure began in 1998. Serge Ferrari, convinced of the advantages of a perma-circular economy - based on reduction, reuse, remanufacturing and recycling - realized that its products, once used were not being recycled.
The Group firstly decided to create a collection network for professionals who would transform the materials. Now no less than 136 companies are members of the network in France.
Then, to make the most of the recovered material, Serge Ferrari set up a recycling facility in Ferrare, in Italy. There, waste fabrics undergo a closed-loop, solvent-based treatment. The solvents separate the PVC from the polyester and the fabric.
Once recycled, these new raw materials go back into industry in the form of PVC aggregates and cut polyester fibers, to become waterproof membranes, bumpers, soles, pipes and even clothing fabric.
The Texyloop process has resulted in a new sector being opened up for these used membranes - more than 9 million m2 of used fabrics had been collected by the end of 2016.
Collect directly from homes
Serge Ferrari has set a new course for 2017. Now the manufacturer will begin collecting its used membranes from the general public. It has just set up a special network of retailers and companies installing blinds and solar protection in the home.
Of course, the primary goal is to increase the visibility of the brand for the general public. But by becoming partners in this network, its members must also be members of the Texyloop recycling system, and on behalf of the Serge Ferrari Group collect the materials they have fitted in homes.
This will further extend the manufacturer's approach – it is a staunch supporter of an aesthetic that respects the environment, and which hopes to enlighten people about the virtues of the circular economy.
Find out more:
- Circular economy, a more sustainable future for the building industry
- In Ludres in France, residual waste finds a second life
- Recycling all the way down ... the RER A
- Circular Economy as seen by Antoine Frérot, CEO Veolia
- CO2 is recycled in the port of Le Havre
- In South Africa, tires have a future
Find out more: Serge Ferrari