Upcycling of Polyamides: Material Recycling of Fishing Nets

The EU action plan for the Circular Economy targets an increase in polymer recyc­ling quotas. Due to the versatile nature of poly­mers, the damage suffered during processing and different levels of contam­in­a­tion, industry has developed many different tech­no­lo­gies in order to enable reuse. BRUG­GOLEN® M1417 from Brügge­mann adds a new pathway for material recyc­ling. It allows, for example, a recycler to convert certain used fish nets into polymer chip suit­able for standard injec­tion molding.

Fishing nets are typic­ally made from poly­amides as these resins combine easy processing with excel­lent phys­ical prop­er­ties. So as to achieve nets with the highest strength, engin­eers normally select high viscosity poly­amides. As they are made from just one resin the nets are straight­for­ward to recycle - back to reusable polymer chip with a ready market in injec­tion molding. However, in order to be effi­cient, the molding process prefers lower viscosity polymer. This is where BRUG­GOLEN® M1417 comes in; its chain cutting action reduces the viscosity to the level desired by the injec­tion molding industry.  

Once again Brügge­mann has developed the missing link between the fiber net waste stream and the wish to recycle into new injec­tion molded parts. In prac­tice the conver­sion of used fishing nets into poly­amide suit­able for injec­tion molding is done via a single step reac­tion on a polymer compounding line.

BRUG­GOLEN® M1417 allows Recyc­ling of High Viscosity Mono­fil­a­ments Fishing Nets into Injec­tion Molded Parts


Besides the reactive ingredient, the so called “chain cutter”, the right combin­a­tion of processing addit­ives and the right polymer carrier had to be iden­ti­fied and mixed in an optimum ratio so as to allow repro­du­cible recyc­ling.

Compounding Line recycles PA 6 pellets and Tensile Tester in Brügge­mann’s Applic­a­tion Lab


During the devel­op­ment of the BRUG­GOLEN® M1417 compos­i­tion, the team in the applic­a­tion lab conducted many extru­sion trials on various compos­i­tions. The resulting optimum balance between easy processing of the poly­amide on the compounding line and good mech­an­ical prop­er­ties is now avail­able for our customers as a new polymer additive.

Several customers apply BRUG­GOLEN® M1417 success­fully whilst making a signi­ficant contri­bu­tion to the circular economy.

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