Textile waste as an alternative thermal insulation building material solution is an ongoing research program coordinated by Ana Briga-Sá, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), Portugal.
In this research program, the potential applicability of woven fabric waste (WFW) and a waste of this residue, named woven fabric subwaste (WFS), as thermal insulation building material is being studied. Experimental work is conducted using an external double wall, with the air-box filled with these two types of waste, to determine their thermal characteristics. Two heat flowmeters and four surface temperatures sensors were placed on the wall surface to determine the thermal conductivity of the wastes.
The results obtained show that the application of the WFW and WFS in the external double wall increases its thermal behavior in 56% and 30%, respectively. The thermal conductivity value of the WFW is similar to the values obtain for expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene (XPS) and mineral wool (MW). The value of this parameter for the WFS is approximately equal to the values for granules of clay, vermiculite or expanded perlite.
Therefore, applying these wastes as a possible thermal insulation material seems to be an adequate solution. Environmental, sustainable and economical advantages may result from this practice.