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Sustainability

Buitink Technology finds it important to give extra inputs to sustainability of the society and the environment on top of the minimum requirements by law, already imposed by the government.

Besides certain obvious and easy to reach internal measures (as for example separation of wastes, saving lighting, digital treatment of documents etc.) we focuson the following main points:

  • Reuse/ recycling of PVC coated polyester fabric
  • Reuse/ recycling of ETFE foil
  • Development of sustainable products

PVC coated polyester fabric

Often we (and other companies) use PVC coated polyester fabric (pvc fabric) for various products.Think about covering canvas, truck canvas, tents, tensed membranes etcetera.

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Example of the different layers of a pvc coated polyester fabric

PVC fabric is widely used for several reasons:

  • Relatively low costs;
  • Sustainability (many products that are realized from this product are based on a lifetime superior to 10 years or even permanent);
  • High availability;
  • Numerous colors available;
  • Various surface treatments possible (dirt repulsive, fire resistent etc.);
  • Easy to process and to print on.

Waste material is produced when pvc fabric is used as end product at:

  1. the processing of pvc fabric, e.g. as cut losses.
  2. the end of the product's life cycle.

For both situations Buitink Technology proposes sustainable solutions to deal with these waste materials: the texyloop recycling process. Buitink technology proposes to recycle both waste materials and redundant products with this process. For more information read the following section.

Texyloop

The Texyloop process is based on the principle of separating the PVC coated polyester fabrics into its basic materials (polyesterfabric and pvc). In this process the pvc coating is separated from the polyester fabric.

Residual pvc fabric from the production process as well as redundant end product at the end of their life cycle (possibly several years old) aretreated by Texyloop. The Texyloop process is based on the Vinyloop PVC recycling proces (www.vinyloop.com).

The following picture presents the Textyloop process.

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The Texyloop process (source: www.texyloop.com)

Buitink Technology has joined Texyloop and brings his cutting wastes/ residual materials as well as the end products from pvc fabric returned by the client at the end of their lifecycle.

Waste and products from pvc fabric are separated into the following categories:

  • White pvc fabric (fire retardant)
  • Colored pvc fabric (fire retardant)
  • White and colored fabrics (not fire retardant)

Fore more information see:

www.texyloop.com & www.vinyloop.com

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ETFE foil

Besides pvc fabric we also use ETFE foil. Usually the ETFE foil is used in air-cushion roofs. These are permanent constructions (there are ETFE air-cushion roofs that are more than 25 years old).

Also residual material and cutting wastes from ETFE (ethyl tetra fluor ethyleen) foil processing, are granulated and returned to the producer for recycling. As ETFE foil is a homogenuous product ( and not a composit) there cycling process itself is much simpler than the Texyloop process; the ETFE foil is granulated and again extruded to make new ETFE foil.

Besides the recycling of ETFE foil we have plans to use ETFE foil as raw material that is produced in an environmental friendly way.

This environment friendly production methods of ETFE granulate soon will be presented by the producer Dyneon. They have introduced a production process free of APFO (ammonium perfluoroctanat).

The first ETFE foil has already been produced with this technique and we are testing the properties of the foil (e.g.on load bearing capacity, feasibility of printing etc.).

The producer confirmed that the properties of the ETFE foil have remained the same (sustainability, fire behaviour, transluscency).

Development of sustainable and environment friendly products

We are commited since a long time to the development of new products and production processes. Various factors determine our choice to develop a given product or to modify a production process. A major criterium is the sustainability of the product and its positive influence on the environment.

Criteria for a sustainable and/or environmental friendly product::

  1. The product collects waste materials and prevents these to be diffused in the environment.
  2. The product is produced in a sustainable way, the impact on the environment is significantly lower than in the conventional production process.
  3. The use of this product gives a better protection of the environment then existing alternatives.

In the past years we have developed following products complying with above criteria

- Mobile water resistant floor (categorie A)

This innovation refers to a mobile liquid collection system made of textile surrounded by inflatable tubes for e.g. the collection and storage of dirty water from truck and car cleaning. This is a relatively simple, cheap and mobile system that reduces the threshold for recovering dirty water and prevents illegal draining.

- Lightweight composite driving boards (categorie C)

This product is a light weight and sustainable alternative to the existing (heavy) material (HDPE) and steel driving boards. The use of these elements has several advantages such as a low so-called ton-kilometers (thanks to the low weight and the small thickness of the driving's plates transport is cheaper).

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Mobile water resistant floor in use Heavy duty lightweight driving plate with a 50-ton sand truck

- ETFE air-cushion roofs (categorie B and C)

The ETFE air-cushion roofs are an alternative to (heavy) glass roofs. For sure, when combined with a sun regulating system this system has less impact on the environment than an alternative in glass.

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ETFE roof open to the sun ETFE roof closed to the sun

- Membrane and inflatable moulds (categorie B and C)

One development in which we invest time and energy is the realization of moulds made of fabrics that replace the traditional formwork or can be an alternative for pre-fabricated products. Basically a lightweight mould can be build on location and be covered with lightweight concrete. Not only construction time is reduced but also more complex (BLOB) shapes can be made. This process can be realized on site such that no pre-fabricated elements have to be transported to the construction site (saving ton-kilometers). Large size road transport of pre-fabricated elements is expensive.  Besides cement centers usually are to be found near the construction sites (contrary to pre-fabrication production sites).

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The inflatable mould
The end product from lightconcrete

- (Insulated) membraneconstruction (categorie C)

The material used for tensed membrane constructions is very light weight (about 1kg/m2) and can be completely recycled even after many years of use.

There are even more recent developments using a double skin with insulation in between. The final result is a building with very good thermal insulation.

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Example of a a permanent insulated membrane construction composed of a double membrane skin with 10 cm rock wool insulation. Example of a permanent insulated membrane construction that consists of a double membrane skin and 20 cm rock wool insulation in between.