History of rubber recycling

History of rubber recycling

Recycling in the rubber industry is almost as old as the rubber industry

Charles Macintosh in 1820, just one year after starting to produce rubber raincoats, needed so much rubber that he could not import it. His research colleague Thomas Hancock found a new solution for him. Hankook built a machine that ground the rubber waste generated during the sprinkling production process and then integrated these rubber fragments into our rubber blocks and re-introduced them into the production process Hancock called this machine a “mill” because it basically shredded the tire into smaller pieces; But this device was more commonly known as the “pickle”. However, during the easy recycling period, the tire had a short life. 

Vulcanization

The process of making the rubber compound resistant to the weather conditions, which made it possible to reach new rubber industries, made it more difficult to recycle the rubber. Once the mixture is vulcanized, it is no longer possible to melt it to produce a new product because this process causes all the elastomer molecules in the rubber product to bond together, creating a larger path network molecule that does not flow easily. Until the twentieth century, recycling was quite economical in the short term because natural or synthetic rubber was still expensive at the time, and in 1910 an ounce of rubber was priced at one ounce of silver. 

This was one of the reasons why, at the beginning of the twentieth century, on average, more than half of every tire product was made from recycled rubber. But since 1960, the amount of recycled rubber used in each product has fallen below 20 percent, as cheap oil imports and the growth of synthetic rubber production have reduced production costs. The development of Radial Belt Simid tires in the late 1960s was almost the end of the rubber recycling industry, as it became very costly and unjustifiably economical to grind tires. In 1995, only 2% of the composition of rubber products was recycled. 

Waste generation

Waste generation is always economically viable in the short run, but in the long run there will be risks. This was the case for the tire industry when US garbage dumps and illegal dumpsters were filled with discarded tires and scrap. Two dark clouds can be seen over the discarded tires. One is black smoke from burning the tire and the other is the smoke from mosquitoes that carry the disease. In August 1999, in the US state of Ohio, officials were forced to make a decision. From Columbus, the capital of the state, there is black smoke 60 miles 97 kilometers northwest of the city, which arose from a garbage dump there.

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