Innovation @Recticel: Recticel, Ready for the future!

Recticel is a leading polyurethane producing company active in four main markets: flexible foams, bedding, insulation and automotive. The Flexible Foams business line develops and produces a wide variety of solutions with product attributes such as silencing, sealing, filtering, carrying, protecting, supporting and comforting. The Insulation business line offers high-quality thermal insulation products that are used immediately in construction projects and building renovations. In the Bedding division, they market consumer-ready mattresses, slat bases and box springs. The Automotive division, comprises of interior trim activities and seating solutions, focuses on innovation, technical progress and excellent customer service.

What once started as a gunpowder mill in Wetteren, on the edge of the Scheldt in 1778 has now evolved into an international industrial player with a profound expertise of polyurethane chemistry. By obtaining a license for the production and marketing of PU products as early as 1952, the expertise of Recticel on PU stretches over multiple decennia. In 1967 all activities on PU were placed under the name Recticel, which is now a European leader in PU application, active in 28 countries worldwide, employing more than 8000 people.

Sustainability and innovation are essential parts of the core strategy of Recticel. This translates into well-defined sustainability goals and strategies for the company and communicating their progress in their sustainability reports. As a result the investment in a state-of-the-art central R&D facility in Wetteren was done employing up to 100 people. Recticel also actively participates in open innovation projects, supported by Catalisti. One of these projects was Alfibond, in which solutions were searched for the recycling of PU waste streams in collaboration with other companies and knowledge institutes. From the positive results of this project, a new recycling process was developed at Recticel. Last March in Wetteren, a pilot installation based on this technology was launched, ensuring further research and development on this topic.


In this new process they are able to recycle post-industrial PU waste into acoustics. This new product can serve a variety of markets as construction, automotive and industry. Simfofit is the first product that comes out of this new process. It has been launched and is available in do-it-yourself shops, it’s a product that can be used to acoustically insulate your home. For these products there is a large market with an annual growth of 5 % per annum.

Recticel will continue on this path of innovation and sustainability to tackle future challenges. In anticipation of a new legislation coming up on the take back of used mattresses in 2021. This newly developed process will allow Recticel to recycle the millions of mattresses that are available. In this way an important step in to the direction of a circular economy is made. 

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