future-tire-comference-logo-onThe Future Tire Conference, organized by the European Rubber Journal took place for the first time during the international tire industry event REIFEN and co-located Rubber Tech Europe in Essen on 24-27 May, 2016.

The conference took a look at the current trends that are shaping the future of the tire industry. Representatives from international associations, automotive OEMs, tire manufacturers and tire suppliers all came together to discuss topics ranging from business trends in global tire markets to new advances in manufacturing and material technologies. There will be strong focus on regulatory developments and issues around sustainability.

The Future Tire Conference program also provided new and unique insights into current trends in the tire markets of Europe, the Americas and Asia.

As part of the program there were also a few presentations on tyre recycling related topics.

On the first day of the conference the opening presentation was given by Christian Kötz, the president of the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association. He explained the vision and the main goals of the Association for 2030, which are namely for the tire industry to remain a stronghold of European manufacturing, to maintain the tire industry’s leadership in terms of design, manufacturing process and performance, and for the EU to guarantee regulatory predictability.

Afterwards Jose Maria Bermejo, the director of recovery market development for SIGNUS, spoke about the standardization of tire recycling. He presented the context of tyre recycling and the changes in the economy model, elaborated on the reasons for standardization of the industry, defined what the respective standardization activities involve and the expected impacts with standards.

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According to Bermejo, there is a low quality perception as well as ignorance about the properties of the recycled tyres products. He explained that the focus of future standardization activities should be the adaptation of existing test methods, the development of new test methods, the validation of specialized laboratories, and the promotion of the quality criteria.

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According to Bermejo the standardization activities can be expected to improve the European internal market, lead to preservation of raw materials, enhance social acceptance of the products, reveal their real value, create bigger interest, promote the quality criteria, develop new markets and ultimately lead to economic and social development.

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Afterwards W.K. Dierkes, J.W.M. Noordermeer and A. Blume from Elastomer Technology and Engineering from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, spoke about the potential and feasibility of tire recycling technologies.

Goal: Reaching the top

Goal: Reaching the top

According to their presentation “Tires back into tires” is the only way to considerably broaden the market for recycled rubber.

The editor of Tyre and Rubber Recycling, Ewan Scott spoke about the challenges facing the future of tyre recycling. According to him, the biggest challenge is that the tire manufacturers do not admit that they use recycled materials.

On the second day of the conference the executive chairman of Pelmar Engineering, Ltd., Mr. Jacob Peled, held a presentation about the “Tire Factory of the Future”. Regarding recycling, he said that tire manufacturers have finally grasped the importance of recycling in all levels. According to Mr. Peled, tire and rubber recycling has emerged as a “necessity rather than “luxury”. It is part of the international trend of having to comply with environmental rules and limitations.”

“The tire in this picture.”

“The tire in the picture” said Mr. Peled, “most probably cannot be mounted on any vehicle wheel. However, it is complete. The production date on this tire, which was under water, is early 1950. Beside the environmental issue, it indicates the resilience and durability of the product and emphasizes why recycling is not an option, but a must”.