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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Development of an innovative recycling process based in cryogenic and water jet grinding and sintering techniques for extending the use of recycled rubber in the development of high quality products.


Nowadays, an enormous quantity of used tyres is landfilled which is one of the main environmental problems worldwide. Estimates are that 250,000,000 used tyres are accumulated each year in the countries of the 15 EU. This could supply 45% of European virgin rubber uptake. Only 24% of used tyres is recycled, mostly in low demanding, low price products, that yield low economical profit, stopping R and D investment (most of companies along the recycled rubber supply chain are SMEs). In consequence, the main use of tyres is as fuel substituting one environmental problem for another due to emissions. In this sense, several efforts have been made in finding new high demanding applications for recycled rubber, but with low success. This is mainly due to the approach followed. Attempts have aimed at mass low demanding applications as asphalt infill, instead of trying to solve the main barriers for the application of rubber in high demanding products: lower mechanical properties and a inferior market perception of recycled rubber. The main goal of this project is to develop an innovative recycling process for producing recycled raw rubber with enough quality for competing with virgin rubber in high demanding products. It will be achieved by integrating emerging grinding technologies, new transformations process and new material design technologies. Emotional engineering techniques will be used to improve customers' perception of recycled products. Products considered in the project are shoes, floorings and automotive applications. The partial goals are scheduled:
-Optimisation of cryogenic and water jet grinding technology.
-Development of procedures for optimising pressure-temperature sintering.
-Develop a use-oriented material design methodology allowing translation of product requirements into product properties.
-Identify emotional requirements to be translated into recycled products.

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Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Camino de Vera s/n

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