Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

Smart Rubber Report Summary

Project ID: 711789

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Smart Rubber (SUSTAINABLE AND MARKET-ORIENTATED RECYCLING TECHNOLOGY FOR EPDM RUBBER)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

SMART is a novel rubber recycling technology based on a cost-effective reactivation process which uses LP (liquid polymer). SMART reclaims valuable manufacturing waste such as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber and processes used rubber materials (i.e. used rubber seals), as well and post-industrial production waste (scrap cut-off). The result of the SMART recycling process is a versatile 100% recycled material: SMART-LP.

This material is a blend of 0.1-0.8 mm rubber waste particles (RWP), liquid polymer (LP) and a small amount of curative system. It has a consistent quality and can be re-used as secondary raw material for the production of new rubber products by blending (25% to 80% or even more). Moreover, modification of SMART-LP blends with blowing agent is a 100% recyclable alternative to obtain rubber foam sealing (SMART-LPB).

The SMART process does not require any solvents and is environmentally sustainable, in accordance with the standards and regulations imposed by the EU (REACH etc.). The multi-purpose recycling product has a high demand on the market. In addition, this product implies not only sustainability but also socio-economic impact by the creation of new jobs in industrialised and developing countries. SMART saves over 80% of raw materials and energy inputs, lowers the CO2 emission and reduces the amount of waste disposed.

The innovative technology enables a closed-loop system that recycles manufacturing scrap and provides a clear incentive for returning used products. It will have a positive impact on the standards of industrial rubber and the rubber markets in general. SMART-LP/SMART-LPB will be marketed as granulate/pellet, pre-form for injection moulding, profile extrusion and flat sheet for industrial use or as finished good. Co-operations have been initiated with rubber and plastic manufacturing partners all over the EU and beyond. This will broaden the scope of applications for reclaimed rubber. The new products shall be introduced to the European market in 2018, and expand globally from 2020.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The work performed during Phase 1 of the Project is related to the objectives defined in the Proposal form and Grant Agreement, in order tow assess the technical and economic feasibility of the proposed business model and investigate the related IP regime.
The main Work Tasks included in the Work Package resulted in the completion of a Feasibility Report, as the Deliverable for Phase 1. Since the production techniques are feasible, the IP regime allows for free exploitation of the production flow, and the business plan is of high interest for the company, M.D.S. Meyer GmbH plans to request further financial support, as we are committed to apply for the continuation of the SMART Rubber Project, as part of the SME Instrument Phase 2 (SME-2) action under the “Horizon 2020 dedicated SME Instrument 2016-2017” (H2020-SMEINST-2016-2017) call of the 2016–2017 Innovation in SMEs Work Programme, in order to start the production and commercialization phases.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Results of the work undergone so far lay the foundation for a novel business model based on an innovative reclaiming technology for EPDM post-industrial waste and its re-usage as secondary raw materials for the production of foam rubber profiles.
SMART saves over 80% of raw materials and energy inputs, lowers the CO2 emission and reduces the amount of post-industrial waste disposed.
In addition to strenghtening our company’s socio-economic presence, by means of diversifying our current product range, entering a new market segment and thus creating new job opportunities, the proposed investment is environmentally sustainable and contributes to the reduction of the European Union companies’ dependency on imports of raw materials.
As the new products save 80% of raw materials and energy inputs, lower CO2 emissions and decrease the amount of disposed post-industrial scrap, the project is in direct accordance with the EU environmental standards and regulations.

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