Dear Readers,

Month by month, our Weibold Academy series touches different topics from the world of tire recycling and highlights different sides of running this business. If you have missed our previous articles, you can find links in the end of this post.

Photo: crossmoretyres.com

As a technologically complex industry, tire recycling follows all major advances in mechanical engineering and machine building. Leading tire recycling equipment manufacturers do their best to increase the performance of their machinery and the quality of the output. Performance implies the very fundamental features such as efficiency, maintenance costs and longevity. However, there are other important parameters, too, and we are elaborating on some of them below.

Tire recycling is a capital-intensive business, and equipment manufacturers stay on top of their game if their machinery has high throughput rates and low maintenance costs. The same applies to energy efficiency.

Engineers are working hard to come up with innovative cost-saving solutions. For instance, we see today that shaft diameter, particularly in primary and secondary shredders, tends to increase; this results in lower RPM and thus lower energy consumption.

Also, engineers are struggling to improve the situation with spare parts, making them quicker accessible and increasing their performance. It is quite a widespread scenario that after investing in a plant, the operator tries to purchase cheaper spare parts from third parties. Even though the initial motivation is to cut costs, they end up with even bigger expenses, damaged equipment and hampered performance.

Despite the advances in energy efficiency and maintenance costs, prices for good-quality European or American equipment remain very high. Even though the market is saturated with all kinds of machinery, a closer look tells that tire recycling equipment of Eastern manufacturers lacks long-term functionality, good performance and good quality. Companies opting for such kind of equipment eventually pay double the price: they suffer from excessive maintenance costs, long downtime, and eventually less output (not to mention its quality).

Another interesting example of advancing processing technologies comes from developing markets of recycled rubber products. As a rule, European and American equipment manufacturers are the first to follow these advances. For instance, cement industry which is on the transition path from coal to tire-derived fuel requires clean cut of the product, which means that the wire does not jut out of rubber chips. As tire-derived fuel has been gaining demand, it became an imperative for part of equipment manufacturers to adapt to the new output standard.

Health and safety features of processing equipment have been advancing, too. Improvements in safety regard not only to the recycling process, but also to maintenance work.

Some equipment manufacturers are focused today on flexibility in output sizes and material qualities. These equipment features enable tire recycling companies to quickly react to changing customer demand without additional capital investments.

As for materials, there is a solid trend for smaller rubber powder sizes on the tire recycling market today. While consumers are interested in minus 80 mesh size, there are some limitations from the technical point of view. With the ambient process, minus 40 mesh rubber powder can be produced with negligible fractions of minus 80 mesh powder. Cryogenic process, in turn, yields a bigger fraction of minus 80 mesh powder, but it involves high volumes of liquid nitrogen which adds considerable costs to the final product. Notwithstanding, even cryogenic process does not yield 100% minus 80 mesh rubber powder. This is one of many other challenges for equipment manufacturers to tackle in the future.

There are also major challenges in tire pyrolysis industry, namely the fuel purity. All over the world, sulphur content in fuels is limited to very low numbers, and this trend goes further than EU and the US. Following the most advanced international practices, India is going to limit sulphur content in its maritime fuel to 0.5% and in its gasoline to 0.1% in 2020. For companies that sell tire pyrolysis oil to their clients, this would mean great challenges ahead. The industry is trying hard to develop economical solutions for increasing the quality of the fuel.

If you would like to consider our consulting services to upgrade your tire recycling business or if you want to receive more information on recent technology advances in tire recycling, Weibold will be happy to help. Write us at sales@weibold.com!

Links to our previous articles:

  1. Welcome to weibold! Academy
  2. weibold! Academy: Recycled Rubber Output Spectrum and Rubber Granulates
  3. weibold! Academy: Rubber Granulates, Rubber Powder, Tire Derived Steel and Tire Derived Fiber
  4. weibold! Academy: Tyre Recycling Value Chain
  5. weibold! Academy: Applications for Tyre Recycling Plant Output
  6. weibold! Academy: Rubber Granulate Applications
  7. weibold! Academy: Rubber Powder Applications – Rubber Industry
  8. weibold! Academy: Rubber Powder Applications – Surface Coatings
  9. weibold! Academy: Success Factors in the Tire Recycling Industry
  10. weibold! Academy: Understanding Tire Recycling Technology
  11. weibold! Academy: Total Quality Management in Tire Recycling
  12. weibold! Academy: Applications for Fibers from End-of-Life Tires
  13. weibold! Academy: Safety and health effects of crumb rubber infill in artificial turf
  14. weibold! Academy: Tire pyrolysis – products and applications
  15. weibold! Academy: Tire-derived fuel in cement production
  16. weibold! Academy: How to improve tire collection in small cities
  17. weibold! Academy: How to prevent tire fires
  18. weibold! Academy: Recycled tires in railroad construction
  19. weibold! Academy: Basics about tire-derived fuel
  20. weibold! Academy: Waste tires in civil engineering
  21. weibold! Academy: How to create your own sandals from used tires
  22. Weibold Academy: Sustainable rubber powder composites
  23. Weibold Academy: How recycled tires enhance safety of children on playgrounds
  24. Weibold Academy: Recycled tires in footwear manufacturing
  25. Weibold Academy: Advantages and the current state of tire retreading industry
  26. Weibold Academy: Basics about rubberized asphalt
  27. Weibold Academy: What to consider before buying tire recycling equipment
  28. Weibold Academy: Tire recycling regulations in Europe
  29. Weibold Academy: Tire pyrolysis and heating oil
  30. Weibold Academy: Tire recycling needs more support from governments