BIOGEARS Partner Profile: Centexbel

Published 09/12/2020

For each issue of the e-newsletter we chat with one of our partner to highlight their company, their role in BIOGEARS and what they view as the key impacts of the project. For this issue, we chatted with Lien Van der Schueren from Centexbel, the Belgian scientific and technical centre for the textile industry.

Tell us about Centexbel

Centexbel is the scientific and technical centre for the Belgian Textile industry. Next to textiles, we also work on plastics. Our activities are focused on testing, research and other services to industry (for example, certification). We work closely together with industry and know the needs of our member companies very well.

The research focus of Centexbel is on applied research, funded by private contract as well as national and international agencies (such as, H2020, FP7, Eureka, Eranet). Some of the key areas of our strategic research are: (i) extrusion processes and related polymer formulation (including biopolymers); (ii) 3D textile structures via braiding, weaving and knitting; (iii) smart textiles; (iv) recycling; (v) finishing and coating technology.

What is Centexbel’s role in the BIOGEARS project?

Centexbel is mainly involved in the pilot scale filament extrusion of biobased materials. Project partner Gaiker produces the compounds, and we test their processability to a range of filaments. We manufacture both monofilaments as well as the finer multifilaments. We optimise the extrusion processing conditions and analyse the properties of the resulting filaments. Our results are shared with Gaiker to help them optimising the biobased compounds. In a next stage, the filaments are sent to project partner Itsaskorda who produces the biobased ropes.

Why did Centexbel get involved in the project?

Sustainability is very important to Centexbel. That is why a lot of our research focuses on the application of biobased materials in textiles and plastics. We have built up important expertise in the extrusion of all kind of bioplastics to filaments and we are using this experience to process the BIOGEARS compounds. It is a great pleasure to collaborate with the consortium, presenting the whole value chain, with the goal to broaden the application area of biobased textiles to marine environments.

Can you describe some of the key impacts that you think will result from activities within the project?

For Centexbel, we believe that our involvement in BIOGEARS will help us to increase our knowledge on the needs of the industry for biobased textiles in marine environments. This will be of great value for us. By processing a new range of compounds, we extend our expertise in the production of biobased filaments. This will allow us to apply biobased materials in other application areas of the textile industry. However, more importantly our involvement in BIOGEARS contributes to the reduction of marine litter and this is the key impact of the project for us.

Lien Van der Schueren

Research Scientist, Centexbel

Last edited 10/12/2021

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