Flushability

Fig (1): Don’t Flush, Adapted from http://www.inda.org/issues-advocacy/flushability/product-manufacturers/

Distinction between durables and disposables are made clear in nonwoven products. Durables can be like geotextiles and disposables are the products of single use such as dippers and wet pads.

Disposables are made by the spun lace, hydeoentangled or needle-punched methods and they are produced in huge amounts all over the world but not disposed in the traditional way but flushed away causing problems in the water waste treatment process. Of course flushable products will solve this problem.

Flushability, according to Jurg [2] and INDA / EDANA guidelines [4], is the ability to be flushed. Meaning, the ability to dissolve into fibres after short mechanical interaction, which allows it to go through the water drainage and pipes properly and is compatible with the waste water treatment clean disintegration in the water waste cycle.  Of course the enable your products to add the “flushable” sign it has to pass the tests set by the INDA and EDANA including, Toilet and Drainline Clearance Test, Slosh Box Disintegration, Household Pump Test, Settling Test, Aerobic Biodisintegration/Biodegradation Tests, Anaerobic Biodisintegration/Biodegradation Tests and Municipal Sewage Pump Test –

As an example of flushable products, Trutzschler Group and Voith Paper have created a new process to produce a strong flushable product. This product seems to be strong and dissolvable through mechanical interaction after use, it consists of 80% wood pulp and 20% Tencel fibres.  The wood pulp makes the produce very absorbent and light weight, while the Tencel hole it together.

Fig (2): The mix of wood pulp and Tencel, adapted from [2].

 

References

[1] – http://www.inda.org/issues-advocacy/flushability/

[2] – Rupp, J. ( 2014). “Flushability Tomorrow’s Trend For Disposables.” Textile Word(January / February ): 30 – 31.

[3] – http://www.inda.org/issues-advocacy/flushability/product-manufacturers/

[4] – INDA and EDANA (2013). Guidelines for Assessing the Flushability of Disposable Nonwoven Products: 1 – 27.

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