Old clothes could be used as a waterproof and refractory construction material

Old clothes could be used as a waterproof and refractory construction material

Used and unwanted garments could be made into non-water and refractory materials rather than landfill, researchers say.

Experts experiment with fabric waste and turn it into solid material in the hope that it will be used in construction.

The panels proved to be durable as well as water and flame retardant fine tuned to the fibers used in the manufacture.

The recycling program aims to reduce the millions of unwanted garments that are thrown away after only two years of use.

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Used and unwanted garments could be made into non-water and refractory materials rather than landfill, researchers say. Experts are experimenting with waste materials and making solid materials in the hope that they will be used in construction (picture).

Used and unwanted garments could be made into non-water and refractory materials rather than landfill, researchers say. Experts are experimenting with waste materials and making solid materials in the hope that they will be used in construction (picture).

Used and unwanted garments could be made into non-water and refractory materials rather than landfill, researchers say. Experts are experimenting with waste materials and making solid materials in the hope that they will be used in construction (picture).

Science Professor Veena Sahajwalla and her team at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Her team collected the items in charity compartments and removed all solid parts – including belts, buckles and zippers.

Professor Sahajwalla, who also heads the Center for Research and Technology for Sustainable Materials, has led the blend of cotton, polyester, nylon and other fabrics through a fine-grained shredder.

The researchers then treated the material with a chemical to aid in the sticking together of the various fiber components.

The fibers were then compressed under heat to form panels for floors and walls.

The group is the first to turn clothes into building materials, but researchers are trying to recycle them into soft mats that are used as heat and sound insulators in floor coverings and walls.

The recycling program is an attempt to reduce the millions of unwanted garments that are thrown away as many owners consider them too worn-out to be given to a charity business (image).

The recycling program is an attempt to reduce the millions of unwanted garments that are thrown away as many owners consider them too worn-out to be given to a charity business (image).

The recycling program is an attempt to reduce the millions of unwanted garments that are thrown away as many owners consider them too worn-out to be given to a charity business (image).

Last year, a study commissioned by Sainsbury's Supermarket found that three-quarters of consumers throw away unwanted clothing instead of recycling or donating it.

The annual detoxification of wardrobes means that millions of garments are dumped each year, causing toxic greenhouse gases as they gradually degrade.

The panels are subjected to a series of tests and have proven to be strong, water resistant and minimally flammable.

The properties of these panels can also be changed by mixing the material with sawdust from old sofas.

Depending on the mix of components, the panels can be used as floor tiles, wall panels and decorative interiors, as the colors resemble wood, stone and ceramics.

The Sahajwalla team hopes to market its innovations by building a small factory in the basement of their building to see if the recycling efforts could be increased.

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