A new material category. And the solution to a growing problem
Vulcanization has one dramatic side effect: It changes the rubber material structure in a way that is virually irreversible, which means that the material is virtually impossible to recycle.
In Europe, 300 million used car and truck tires are disposed each year, and in the US the figure is just as high. Since there has been no way to reverse the vulcanization the, countries and companies try other ways to stop the tyre mountain to grow: As land fill, as granules for play and sports areas, as combustible substance for energy, etc etc. Or simply nothing and just watch the mountain grow (or export the problem to another country).
Up until now, that is.
Best of both worlds…
With Ecorub’s patented method, vulcanized rubber is no longer a problem. We have discovered a way to reverse the irreversable molecule structure of the vulcanized rubber. By mixing the recycled rubber with a special copolymer, different kinds of recycled consumer plastics and biological fibres or microbes we are able to create a thermoplastic rubber that enables a whole range of new desirable features and totally eliminates the problems that normally are associated with rubber and plastic combinations. We call this new category of material TPRR™ – thermoplastic recycled rubber)
TPRR™ materials can be formed/extruded in the same ways as a thermoplastic – even using the same equipment. The end product also inherits the same desirable characteristics one would find in rubber materials, such as:
The material is weldable. This means the fabrics we manufacture can be welded together to larger areas, without any risk that the material will burst in the joint. For example, it is good solution if you want a large fluid barrier over a surface under a pond or a landfill.
The material is resistant to UV light. The rubber particles contained in the material are enclosed in plastic, making the material more UV-cured than virgin rubber. It may be good if you intend to use the material for outdoor purposes.
The TPRR™ behaves like a thermoplastic. Because the material is not vulcanized to gain its strength, it can be used in the same way as a thermoplastic in an extrusion process, or in other molding processes. This allows you to shape more complex forms and use the material to a wide variety of components.
Although TPRR™ are very durable, it also retains the properties of the natural rubber, making it extremely shock absorbent and suitable for vibration reductions. The material regains its shape ever after very rough treatment. This makes it perfect for details in harsh or exposed environments
…and for the next generation
Adding to all these features is the fact that TPRR™ as its name implies, is fully recyclable. Not one, not twice but over and over again. We are even able to re-separate the different components of the TPRR™ if needed, making it a perfect choice for products that want to combine superior material characteristics with environmental sustainability. TPRR™ is truly a material for the circular economy.