Over 1000 EU SMEs are involved in tyre retreading and supply to this industry. Retreading is the process of recycling a used tyre via removal of the worn tread and addition of new tread. During the process each used tyre must be inspected to determine whether it is fit for retread or should be scrapped due to irreparable damage.
The inspection process begins with a visual inspection and is generally complemented by further inspection using non-destructive test equipment. Currently available commercial equipment, such as x-ray, shearography and ultrasound, is too costly for SMEs, bulky, time consuming and in many cases proprietary- developed by the major manufacturers for their exclusive use.
EU tyre legislation means that dependency on the experience of qualified operators is no longer sufficient in assuring tyre quality thus leaving retreading SMEs in a critical situation. A real need has been manifested by Retread Associations for a fast, easy to use, low cost casing inspection machine to enable their SME retreaders to secure retread quality and avoid wasting resources on unsuitable casings.
This project will develop a tyre casing inspection machine (tyretest) to complement the manual inspection of used truck casings in order to reduce operating costs, consistently deliver product quality and safety, as well as promote the recycling and reuse of tyres. The use of pulse-echo ultrasound will represent a real innovation and Tyretest will perform non-destructive inspection of the tyre sidewalls, shoulders and crown area in a total test time of 1.5 minutes.
The inspection is designed to identify any internal tyre defects which could render the retreaded tyre unfit for use. Introducing a low cost and easy to operate inspection technique would enable SMEs to become more competitive through better selection of used tyres for retreading, which would increase the quality of the end product, which would in turn increase the acceptance of retreaded tyres.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCollective - SMEs-Collective research projects
Vjal Il-qalbiena Mostin - Mosta
Vjal Il-mostin Qalbiena - Mosta