CORDIS - EU research results

100% recovery and RECYCLing of construction vehicle crAwler TRACKs into constituent rubber and steel for sustainable raw material supply

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Recyclatrack (100% recovery and RECYCLing of construction vehicle crAwler TRACKs into constituent rubber andsteel for sustainable raw material supply)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-05-31

“Recyclatrack”© is a patent-protected, process using low volumes of water to recover valuable steel and rubber granulate from end-of-life vehicle crawler tracks and achieve 100% recycling of a waste stream for which, until now, there has been no practical or sustainable solution.

Improved manufacturing technology for steel/rubber composite crawler tracks has developed greatly promoting a steep increase in civil , military and agricultural applications. By 2020, without a practical solution such as “Recyclatrack”© millions of tracks could be abandoned.

Enquirers from throughout Europe and the USA seek a solution to the same disposal problem found in UK which led to the development of the process. Extremely high pressure waterjets separate the rubber from the steel. The water used is also recycled. UK National Recycling Awards voted “Recyclatrack”© their “Innovation of the Year”.

The objective is now to construct a commercially attractive version of the process with all identified improvements. The process is readily scaleable and at least 20 countries have been identified which would support a commercial track recycling centre. A marketing and business plan has been completed.
Work completed under Phase 1 shows that regulatory pressure and landfill closures severely limit options for track disposal. This has confirmed the urgent need for an environmentally attractive recycling process.

Extensive work has been completed examining the demographics of waste tracks worldwide by contact with over 100 track distributors, manufacturers, end users and waste processors. Research into the recovered products – scrap steel and particularly the rubber powders – has confirmed demand for rubber powders as fillers in rubber manufacturing processes. The process produces clean, high quality rubber powder which does not require any post-processing.
Between now and 2020 the rise in crawler track usage will result in an estimated 12m tonnes of high-grade steel and 5m tonnes of re-processable rubber being lost to the community if a process like “Recyclatrack”© is not rolled out. Left as a composite rubber/steel assembly, tracks will be stock-piled, abandoned, buried or incinerated.

In addition, the process has revealed considerable potential for the development of a viable de-vulcanisation process for the produced rubber crumb and applying the techniques learned to the disposal of large mining and earth-moving tyres.
Recyclatrack Images