If synthetic rubber is hardly biodegradable, then what becomes of an old rubber product? If the rubber was recycled properly, it is most likely being used as a TDP (Tire Derived Product). A TDP is essentially a recycled rubber product. TDPs can be the belt around your waist, made in a recycled rubber roll form, they can be playground surfacing that protects your kids, or they can be another one of a variety of recycled rubber product lines. First, let’s see how rubber reclaiming turns old waste into something reusable and functional. The process can produce a multitude of reclaimed rubber products depending on the desired need. You will be surprised at how many things are made from recycled rubber.
Rubber is very durable and resilient, which makes it a very difficult product to dispose of. At the same time, it is an ideal reusable compound. A recycled rubber roll is a more cost-effective substitute to virgin, non-recycled products. This reprocessed material may contain some traces of a variety of rubber compounds. For example, if the recycled rubber was made of salvaged tires, then the end-product will be a result of the tire crumb used. The brand of tires discarded will certainly be unknown and so will the contents of the TDP (e.g. playground flooring) made from the tire crumb. Recycled rubber’s distinguishing qualities from other kinds of rubbers (natural and synthetic) is its affordable price-point. Reclaimed rubber products will take impact abuse at a great price. Continue Reading Below
The Process of Making a Recycled Rubber Product
When tires or other large rubber items (e.g. cable jackets) are recycled, they are typically sent to designated spots for reprocessing called recycling centers, which are retail locations. These firms will transport them to actual tire recyclers that are industrial facilities with large machinery. Tire recyclers will deconstruct this automotive waste into its sub-parts. Metals, fabrics, and other non-rubber parts are separated. Following the procedure, what is left is the tire crumb. It is the tire crumb that is the basic sub-unit of any recycled rubber product. TDP’s are all made from this by-product.
One of the processes in making reclaimed rubber products tires is achieved through a fairly recent innovation called tire pyrolysis. This is the process where tires are put in an environment with no oxygen and then heated, transforming the tires into oil, gas, and char. While many companies are investing in this technique, others are still wary of this new process since some markets are hesitant to use or buy items made from recycled rubber that include byproducts of tire pyrolysis. However, companies who have invested in tire pyrolysis claim that the oil and gases produced from recycled tires can generate electricity and provide energy for industries (http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/03/for-tire-recyclers-a-holy-grail/).
The overall recycling process of rubber includes repairing, reusing, and/or converting rubber into energy. Buying and using products made from recycled rubber helps decrease the amount of damage that might have been done to the environment and helps reduces rubber waste. Recycling rubber is a process that brings along several opportunities for eco-friendly change, waste reduction, and creative new rubber products made from reclaimed rubber. At Rubber-Cal, we offer recycled rubber roll and sheets alongside with other natural and synthetic rubber products. Some advantages of using a recycled rubber product are:
- They are almost always made in the USA. They are made from US passenger and commercial car tires.
- They are less expensive, sometimes half the cost of competing products.
- They are better for outdoor use than their counterparts in lots of applications.
- They are readily available with shorter lead-times.
The next time you are in the market for an elastomer, please consider using a recycled rubber product.