FLIPT: how to replace plastic with the creation of a sustainable and resistant fibre

Thursday, 23 January, 2020
The FLIPT project tests and develops a novel way of polymer processing via controlled solidification derived from natural materials with reduced use of water and energy ("aquamelt" concept).

The project takes inspiration from spiders and silkworms and on how these animals are able to create a high performance natural fibre (sustainable, degradable and elastic) in a way which is over 1000 times more energy efficient than industrially manufactured ones.

These fibres will have a remarkable impact not only in the textile sector, for which they were initially created, but also on the entire industry sector and society. Thanks to the very low CO2 emissions engendered and the use of natural resources, this new way of polymer processing will drastically reduce the energy consumption and the plastic production.

In the FLIPT video, Mr Chris Holland, Coordinator of the consortium, explains that the potential of the newly identified polymer processing is huge as, currently, there is no alternative technology that could compete with existing thermoplastics ones.

Moreover, in terms of applications, a recently published article in the “Materials Chemistry Frontiers”, partially supported by FLIPT, reports that natural silks get stronger the colder they get. This could envisage the design and fabrication of new families of natural and silk-inspired filaments for applications in extreme cold conditions such as space (see also this article in Cordis reporting on these findings).

The FLIPT project is now part of the Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) Pilot, specifically of the Pathfinder, the new home for deep-tech research and innovation in Horizon 2020.
The EIC Pathfinder is the new paradigm of the previously known Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)-Open and FET Proactive actions funded under the FET Programme.