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.

Recycling tires into materials such as steel-free crumb rubber and fine rubber powder used to be a profitable venture; however, due to market saturation in developed economies, tire recycling companies might want to shift their focus from raw materials to potentially higher-priced consumer goods made from recycled rubber or even virgin rubber which can be replaced by tire-derived materials. The first and so far one of the most viable choices of tire recyclers would be investing in presses and molds to produce molded goods from crumb rubber or rubber powder. Another options include more complex technologies, e.g. blending recycled rubber powder with polyethylene or polypropylene to produce thermoplastic elastomers (TPE).

As a rule, manufacture and sales of consumer goods yield higher margins than production and distribution of raw materials, and yet markets abound with opportunities in the field of molded and other value-added products from recycled rubber. The most common examples of molded goods are playground mats, flooring tiles for gyms, rubber curbs, traffic safety products, insulation panels, equine mats, carpets for cattle etc. However, one needs to keep innovating and inventing new products. Due to high supply and relatively low prices of recycled rubber in most of OECD countries given rapidly advancing technology, every year the number of molded products from recycled rubber expands.

This article lists some of the products from recycled tire rubber which could significantly increase profit margins of tire recycling businesses.

Rubber wheels for waste bins

Chassis from recycled tire rubber | Photo: courtesy of Gumiimpex 

In Europe, the technology has been on the market for quite some time and many companies manufacturing and assembling waste bins, municipal and industrial trash containers started using chassis from recycled tire rubber. As a rule, such chassis not only contribute to cleaner environment, but also help companies cut production costs – market price of such goods is notably lower. Croatian company Gumiimpex can serve a good instance of such a manufacture.

Yet, developing regions such as, for instance, North Africa or Middle East, lack such manufacturers and import rubber wheels for waste bins from key manufacturers in Europe and Asia. Many countries around the world find themselves in similar situation – vast market opportunities on domestic and regional markets remain unexplored.

Security products from recycled rubber

ADS Advance| Photo: courtesy of Rosehill Security

Recent news in tire recycling industry features a British company Rosehill Security that will start providing its molded security products from recycled  tires, including hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) barriers, Ballistic Blocks and Rapid and Impakt Defenders to the US market. According to the company, it recently signed a deal with ARX Perimeters which gives the company a new window of opportunity.

The production of Rapid and Impakt Defenders relies on recycled tire rubber, and uses polyurethane to getting extra strength. The product can be used in almost all types of surfaces, ranging from roads to stadiums. It is also possible to apply them in combination with mobile perimeter and high-security fence systems – this would secure boosted protection.

To learn more about Rosehill’s activities, read our article here.

Rubberized metro tracks

Rubberized metro tracks in Spain | Photo: SIGNUS

In Spain, Acciona Infrastructure Group – a company earlier teamed up with researchers, Spanish waste tire management authority SIGNUS and tire recycling industry players studied how recycled tires could benefit municipal railway systems. The company explained that its team was searching for methods to reduce noise from trains on railroads, adding further that they were also thinking how to benefit the environment.

Currently, a 16-kilometres subway route which uses recycled tire rubber stretches between four points in Spanish Granada – Albolote, Maracena, Granada and Armilla; 13 of them are on the surface and 3 km stretch underground. According to the company, the Acciona’s innovation does not require huge investments to carry out proper maintenance and molded rubber pads for railroad tracks can be easily installed. In addition, the technology helps transform scrap tires into valuable products greatly reducing the end-of-life tire problem. According to the company, to produce one meter of tracks approximately seven scrap tires are needed.

More information on the Acciona’s activities in this field is available here.

Railroad ties from recycled rubber

Giovanni Maria De Lisi, founder of Green Rail | Photo: courtesy of Green Rail

Apart from Acciona, another innovator in Spain successfully entered the market of molded products from recycled tire rubber with similar goods.

A joint agreement has been signed between Spanish technology company Indra and an Italy-based young company Greenrail, which is involved in manufacturing of environment-friendly railroad ties from recycled tires and plastic. The partners will now be developing merchandise from recycled tires and construct new production lines, which will cater to the rail industry. Apart from utilizing scrap tire rubber, the collaboration between Greenrail and Indra is expected to make railway maintenance process more energy-efficient and cost-effective, as well as safer.

Giovani De Lisi, CEO and founder of Greenrail said that Greenrail’s Solar and LinkBox systems capable of ensuring energy-efficiency and railway’s setup safety, may be adopted by Indra as a result of the signed contract.

The joint venture is considered a powerful player of Shift2Rail, the key project in Europe that advocates innovations in the rail industry, thanks to its frontline advances in traffic control and rail signaling, payment systems, service improvement and other outstanding achievements.

To learn more about the company, read Weibold’s article about Greenrail.

Weibold’s market researches will help you identify new market opportunities

Successful tire recycling business requires high returns on investment, and apart from lowering operational costs one needs to keep innovating and looking for new revenue streams. To explore opportunities in innovative rubber products, including molded rubber goods, contact Weibold and consider our specialized market researches. Weibold’s 20-year-long expertise includes not only the economic side of running tire recycling and pyrolysis businesses, but also production technologies. Write us at sales@weibold.com to learn more about our work!

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
  31. Weibold Academy: Advances in tire recycling technology
  32. Weibold Academy: Problems of tire disposal and how tire recycling business can improve environment
  33. Weibold Academy: how big is the global tire recycling market
  34. Weibold Academy: products from recycled tires which have great commercial potential
  35. Weibold Academy: what to consider when launching tire recycling business in developing countries
  36. Weibold Academy: tire pyrolysis fuel and emission standard developments
  37. Weibold Academy: how recycled tire-derived materials can improve properties of concrete
  38. Weibold Academy: applications of rubber mulch from recycled tires
  39. Weibold Academy: impact of alternative fuels in cement industry on tire collection and recycling in developing countries