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Technology Forum 2019 - Fabric recycling with NIR hyperspectral cameras (en)

Presentation at the Machine Vision Technology Forum 8-9 October 2019 in Unterschleissheim (Germany) Speaker: Dr. Mathieu Marmion, Specim Spectral Imaging Ltd.

Recycling is in the air and textiles should also be recycled. However, to do so, a perfect identification of their fibers type is needed. Hyperspectral cameras offer here new possibilities. So far, recycling of fabrics is done manually, having inherent and significant issues, like 1) repeatability; 2) reproducibility; 3) hygiene; 4) speed; 5) accuracy and 6) cost.

Within this context, automated machine vision systems would be very useful, addressing all the previous mentioned issues. Material identification requires contactless sensors able to measure the chemical composition from a distance, where NIR hyperspectral cameras outperform.

We measured with such camera different types of fabrics, including synthetic ones (e.g. polyester), based on animal (e.g. wool) or plant (e.g. cotton) fibers.

Data were analyzed with a PLS-DA model. Results show that synthetic, animal and plant originated fibers could be sorted, regardless the color of the textile, including dark ones. We believe that those findings are of the most importance, opening a new industrial market, driven by new EU laws.