Tire-derived rubber composites for sustainability

The world is witnessing the rise of recycling of end-of-life tyres. Waste tyres, which can be used as substitute for traditional raw materials, need to be processed in an eco-friendly way, thus a number of ground-breaking technologies have been introduced. ELTs are now concerned with establishing novel ways in which moulded rubber products and tyre-derived fuel could be used, including agricultural and civil engineering realms. The researcher from Nottingham University, Dr. Davide Lo Presti, has conducted a study on how ELTs is used in rubber-modified asphalts, including the use of RTR-MBs (rubber modified bitumen) for improvement of road surface.

The scholar has worked extensively on technologies, which could allow to use again waste materials and to reapply them for production of railways, pavements and roofing membranes. The scientists says that international research is concerned with investigation of the methods of application of bitumen-rubber blends and rubberised asphalt in civil engineering, which will resolve the issue of disposal of end of life tyres.

Dr. Davide highlights that his study of sustainable use of ELTs is of high value as tyre recycling provides both social and economic privileges.

Tyre rubber can be used to create merchandise capable of competing with commercially available products equally in technological and economic terms. It is able to advance the application of tyre rubber as a substitute for synthetic polymers. The scholar claims that further research of solution for pre-treating of tyre-rubber is needed so it will be more well-suited for further usage. He says that political authorities should drive this change and they need to give priority to development of markets for eco-friendly products.

Given potential of ELTs to be re-used many times, the resource is believed to be the most efficient method of addressing sustainability problems in civil engineering by Dr. Davide. The application of ELTs has existed for decades and they have posed limited number of disadvantages.

The scientist declares that these methods should be given a more serious attention and they demand a fixed circular economy. Re-using tyres in civil engineering will have environmental advantages. Tyre manufacturers and the recovery sector need to be more willing to drive change.

He says that if the end-of-life products are incorporated by the tyre industry it may resolve a problem of their products’ undervaluing, such as landfilling, burning etc. These processes also lead to carbon being released. To tackle these issues, politicians and industries necessitate to establish mutual agreements. To attain it, political backing is needed in creation of well-organized circular economy.

Dr. Davide says that improvement of the rheometry of rubberised bitumen is a technological problem he has comed across in his study. Estimation of the rheology poses the challenge for the bitumen technologist. And the scholar has developed processed allowing to get accurate viscosity measurements of complex fluids in the engineering of the rubberized binders.

According to the scholar, rubberised binder is a mechanism that functions and should be seen as a key choice for replacing polymer modified bitumen.

Article source: Tyre Asia

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