A new and improved method of recycling old tyres is being developed by Australia’s government-run national science agency.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has joined forces with the Australian tyres recycling technologies company VR TEK to work on the break-through project.
The end goal of the project is to produce a devulcanised and activated high quality rubber powder suitable to be used in the manufacture of new rubber products.
Barrie Finnin, CSIRO materials science and engineering scientist, said the joint team had recently succeeded in segmenting a tyre into specific pieces using a cutting mechanism built to VR TEK’s design.
He said: “This is a very positive first step in a three-stage process and CSIRO is delighted to be part of a project that is enabling an Australian company to pioneer the commercially and environmentally sustainable recycling of tyres.”
The next two stages will involve devulcanisation and activation of rubber to produce the resultant high-quality rubber powders.
Michael Vainer, VR TEK managing director, said that the rubber powders to be produced from the process could be turned into many commercially viable products.
He added: “Not only is there commercial potential for all these new products, recycling rubber is a cheaper and more energy efficient option than producing virgin materials.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office