End of Life Tyres
Pile of end of life tyres
Clean rubber powder
Is there a genuine sustainability option for the problem child of our modern society?
Can tyre recycling join the circular economy properly?
Globally more than 1.5bn end of life tyres are indiscriminately discarded causing a great deal of harm to the environment. In the UK alone there are more than 450,000 tonnes of end-of-life car-tyres dumped. These are difficult to process due to the complex chemical composition including synthetic and natural rubber, steel and fibre that are fused together. The industry sends these tyres (very quietly) off to other countries that have lax environmental controls. The developed world needs to do better and be at the forefront of environmental processes.
Tyres are designed and constructed to withstand extreme operating conditions including friction, heat, water, stress over continuous and long periods of time. These conditions include the cyclic nature of the conditions under which tyres exist during their operating lifecycle. Therefore, this cyclic aspect is also factored into the durability of the tyre in the design stage.
Washing away the problem
Ultra-high pressure water jet technology1 is a one-step process that uses very fine streams of high-pressure water to pulverise scrap tyres, quite literally washing away the problem. The output from this process is a narrow band range of premium value rubber powders. The process is optimised by using a continuous process managed with an intelligent, dynamic control system.
The UHPW materials processing project is at the forefront of sustainable technology development, which is working towards achieving a more sustainable society.
Probably the greatest benefit that comes from UHPW processing of end-of-life car tyres is that the powders have the material properties synonymous with new tyre manufacturing.