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Biobased achievement at Centexbel

Biobased pastes do not require any solvents or specialised equipment, resulting in a lower environmental impact and reasonable pricing.

26th July 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Belgium


Centexbel, the Belgian knowledge centre for the textiles and plastics industries, has developed bio-based and compostable dispersions for textile coatings and printing inks.

This development received the New Approaches on Sustainability and the Circular Economy Innovation Award at the recent Techtextil show in Frankfurt.

The dispersions work especially well with polylactic acid (PLA), a biobased polymer made from carbohydrates, but are also compatible with polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), a naturally occurring bacterial polymer now available on the market.

The production of these biobased coating pastes does not require solvents or any specialised equipment, resulting in a lower environmental impact and reasonable pricing. The latest generation of biobased plasticizers is used in the dispersion to make the coatings flexible and applicable for a broad array of substrates, including textiles. The dispersions can be used in both coating and screen-printing applications and are very resistant to abrasion.

Thanks to their inherent biodegradability, the resulting inks and coatings do not release microplastics.

Centexbel has successfully adapted the formulations to different industrial processes. While initially developed for food packaging within the European Biontop project, the formulation was successfully adapted for use on wallpaper, in cooperation with Masureel International, and coated flax fabric used in the production of thermoplastic composites in cooperation with Flaxco. In addition Centexbel has demonstrated that the coating pastes can be used for carpet backings, artificial leather, and as barrier coatings.

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