FR Acoustic textile Felt
This idea is a part of The Circular Construction Challenge – Rethink Waste
The FR Acoustic textile Felt is an Up-cycled product designed from post-production and consumer waste streams of fire retardant polyester textiles.
The simplicity of remanufacturing, through low cost processing, retaining of properties and ease of recovery, makes it a simple yet high potential circular solution.
By tapping into the excess amounts of production and processing cutoffs from the textile industry and end of life household consumer textiles, which otherwise is taken to landfills or incinerated, Really is able to change the value chain.
Through methodical sorting and blending of waste fractions, Really is able to reuse 100% of the available fractions. Our mechanical processing methods used, allows for a 100% reused felt, solely from waste fractions.
The intended target textiles has an interposed phosphorus chain in the molecular structure (propionyl methylphosphonate), giving it an imbedded fire resistance.
This makes the secondary addition of harmful chemicals in the reprocessing of the textiles redundant, which gives an improved environmental and carbon footprint. The specific reduction highly depends on the material substitution measured against traditional polyester, which has a carbon footprint of approximately 2,8 kg CO2 eq per kg. Carbon footprint for collection and shredding textile fiber is estimated to 0,5 CO2 eq per kg.
The further manufacturing process is similar to existing means of producing felts, through a range of different nonwoven processes, leaving an estimated 80% carbon equivalent reduction in raw input material.
Our vision with the development of the FR Acoustic Textile Felt, is making available a high performing, circular, low emission, flexible and low cost aesthetical and acoustic material for the architecture and building industry.
There are other products offering recycled acoustic felts, as well as, fire-retarded solutions for the building industry.
However, there are no scaled upcycled industrial materials available, offering a low-cost aesthetical and acoustic solution, using no chemical additives, water or high energy intensive processing.
Were Really offers a low cost sheet material, flexible in customization, mounting and has the possibility to offer new business or service solutions and take-back systems. Confronting the user with a functional, recycled and aesthetic material, which emphasizes the potential of reusing waste materials and tells a tangible story. Really intent to attract environmental oriented developers and architects who aim to build in accordance with new building directives, such as DGNB, LEED or BREEAM.
Contractors faced with new challenges of Total cost of ownership, seeing the value in business models allowing for an increased flexibility, leasing and take-back solutions.
Really have a certain focus on the Scandinavian and parts of the European market, being in the for-front of the sustainability agenda. Through our international sales representatives, we already have a close connection and ongoing dialog with the fashion, architectural and design industry
Unfolding the potential of take-back, re-furbishing and leasing schemes as part of our value proposition, allows for a new type of business modelling inspired by tier systems within the gaming industry or rental agreements in the automotive industry.
Giving the material a secondary “value chain”, creates an incentive in the otherwise problematic and hard to reach initial value chain, the end consumers, leading to a more feasible framework for continuous circularity of our material.
Initial indication, especially from the architecture industry, shows a massive interest in a fire retardant acoustic material, providing similar functionalities, at a low cost and with a high degree of flexibility – sold as a standard sheet material, with the freedom to form, mount and combine in endless ways.
Expectations is it will take large part of the existing acoustic market, substitute inbuilt or hidden solutions and make additional aesthetic wall covering obsolete.
The main production capabilities and capacity is available through an array of existing producers, mainly producing material for the car industry. The product development and innovation is based on adjustment of known production technologies in combination with modern technological means of tracing and identifying materials, through both hard- and software solutions.
The challenge is in the intersection between existing production technologies and the introduction of new tracking and information technology.
The ability to introduce a low cost method of tracking the material is vital in achieving the ability of creating a circular solution, allowing for the framed business opportunities.
This could originate from the shipping industry, from mobile device platforms or ongoing initiatives from the building industry – introducing concepts of material passports.
Our initial development and production is in collaboration with Altex Gronauer Filz GmbH and a range of subcontractors, producing and working with the fire retardant textiles of which we source the waste fractions.
Additionally, we expected to work in close collaboration with the technology or service provider of the tracking and/or mapping functionalities.
Really already have access to material, production and target customers, but there is still a high degree of transition in the initial parts of the chain, through collecting and sorting waste fractions. Depending on the volume and suppliers ability to sort out e.g. qualities and colors.
Secondly, we are introducing a new product and processing methodology into an industry prone by low-cost and volume based competition from e.g. the car industry, which needs a high degree of collaboration and co-development.
Thirdly, we are creating new incentives in the consumer segment through new business model options, which again feeds back into our material reuse and cost reduction, which also entails a closer dialog with the industry and potential showcases in collaboration with specified customers.
The success and scaling of the product, is highly dependent on a range of strong partnerships throughout the whole value chain. Both in regards to quality, traceability and gradually scaling production, which also relates to a shared risk in allocation of resources, financial investments or calculated expectations on material return and customer loyalty through new business models.
However, through the use of existing and widely available technologies and material input streams, this type of collaborative and diverse product development and production, gives a high degree of flexibility in both scaling and in the potential of local production and global expansion.
Support and input from the CCC-program
It is essential the right technology is identified, able to provide the necessary information flow, support the intended shift in current business models and enabling a new type of product service system – which is not currently available.
All this needs to be achieved, validated and implemented under a feasible framework within existing production methods.
Depending on the solution and found business opportunities, there might need to be established a supporting framework around the take-back and information network – supporting developers, logistic operators, construction workers and designers.
How to approach, select and validate these constraints is what Really as a material producer needs guidance and support in navigating and implementing.
The expectation is that through the CCC-program, Really’s development team will be exposed to a network of relevant stakeholders and potential collaborative partners. Both enabling the prototyping of different solutions and validation of the interaction with the market and exposure to new customer segments.