Industrial and waste textiles can be challenging to recycle or repurpose if you don’t have the right skills or processes.
Here at Brent Industries, we pride ourselves on finding environmentally friendly ways of recycling and repurposing industrial and waste textiles, including aramid.
What is Aramid?
Aramid fiber is used to make a variety of clothing, accessories, and equipment safe and cut resistant. It’s lightweight and extraordinarily strong, with five times the strength of steel on an equal-weight basis. Best known for its use in ballistic and stab-resistant body armor, Kevlar® brand aramid fiber has shown its value in helping to save the lives of thousands of people around the world.
At an industrial and manufacturing level, aramid is often used in personal protective equipment. For those working in hazardous work environments, aramid is worth its weight in gold. The fabric is used in petrochemical, chemical, electric, and gas industries due to its incredible flame retardant and anti-knock properties. Whenever an employee will be exposed to sparks, molten metal, smelted materials, or areas where electric welding is occurring, aramid-based clothing is the best way to keep their skin safe.
Why Does Aramid Need to be Recycled?
As a fabric, aramid is so valuable because of how rigid and inflexible it is. However, that’s also one of its drawbacks. With use, abuse, and time, aramid can become brittle and coarse. As such, they begin to lose their effectiveness, eventually offering no real level of protection at all. Ultimately, weakened aramid fibers can be more hazardous than safe. If the employee wearing the weakened aramid finds themself in a compromised situation and their aramid fabrics fail, they could be seriously injured. It’s important then to retire and recycle aramid fabrics when the fabric has been damaged, has been exposed to chemicals, or is simply just old.
What Kind of Aramid Fabrics Do We Recycle?
Ultimately, weakened aramid fibers can be more hazardous than safe. If the employee wearing the weakened aramid finds themself in a compromised situation and their aramid fabrics fail, they could be seriously injured. It’s important then to retire and recycle aramid fabrics when the fabric has been damaged, has been exposed to chemicals, or is simply just old.
When you need a material that is durable, lightweight, and can resist high temperatures, a woven aramid fabric is hard to beat. Woven aramid is one of the most common types of aramid, as it can easily be cut and stitched together to create ballistic vests, protective equipment, and impact-resistant panels.
Non-woven aramid is often commonly called aramid tissue. It’s a lightweight fiber that can be bonded together into a matrix that can be placed onto a variety of surfaces. Because it is non-woven, it can be draped across rounded, or curved surfaces to provide strength and rigidity. Non-woven aramid is often used to improve the impact resistance of a surface. It’s often used as a base layer, with another layer placed over it so that its fuzzy and brittle surface does not catch on other fabrics.
Scraps and Trimmings
A more robust version of the absorbent pad, pillows are used for more major spills. Like the pads, they can be used to soak up fluids but can hold a larger volume of fluid. Pillows can also be used in tight spaces and can be used in fluid reservoirs, waste troughs, or areas that are hard to reach and clean regularly.
Rolls and Sheets
On occasion, entire rolls or sheets of woven and non-woven aramid fabrics may need to be disposed of. This could be the result of an issue during the production process that resulted in the need to destroy that batch. In other cases, the roll or sheet might have been exposed to a chemical that weakens the aramid. In any case, we can responsibly recycle your aramid textiles.
Unlike many products, aramid is nearly 100% recyclable. Our process is simple, streamlined, and intuitive. We take in your scrap aramid and sort it to remove any products we cannot recycle. Whether the aramid has been processed or not, whether it’s clean and just damaged, or contaminated with a chemical, we can begin to recycle it. This starts by converting the materials into a pulp. The pulp can later be remade into new fibers and yarns that can be made into new products.