Reinforcement of concrete by means of fish net fibres


Plastics still have a long way to go in the circular economy. The number of (partial) issues to achieve circularity seems almost endless. An important sub-issue concerns the circularity of fishing nets. Much thought has already been given to this, and for PA (nylon) fishing nets, many demonstration projects have been carried out. It is different for northern European fishing nets, which consist largely of polyolefins. In the absence of good end-of-life solutions, fishing nets are even dumped at sea, leading to suffocation of aquatic life.

Back in 2017, several student teams at Saxion started working on the question in what ways circularity can be achieved with these fishing nets. From this, several solutions have emerged in concept. One of them is to reduce discarded fishing nets to fibres and incorporate these as reinforcement in concrete. Concrete properties such as tensile and splitting strength can improve with such fibres. So far, this idea remained in the concept phase.

The immediate reason for developing the next step towards the demonstration phase is the request from the municipality of Amsterdam to renovate quay walls in the most sustainable way possible. Since this is a potential application, the question is now how to industrialize the fish net fibres and whether it it technically feasible to incorporate this in concrete. This also raises the question of what the final material properties would be. Resulting in the following research question:

‘In what way can fish nets be recycled in fibre-reinforced concrete and what are the technical and economic conditions involved?’

Project partners

Rouwmaat, Pasterkamp, research group Smart & Functional Textiles


6 months, Start in November 2021


Financed by ‘Fieldlab Circular Innovations in de Maakindustrie.’

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