Leading universities in the US have innovated technology that allows rubber recovery while a new type of sensor will help in sensing structural damage on infrastructure. University of Akron researcher Avraam
Isayev’s rubber recovery technology is expected to cause a major shift in rubber reprocessing for industrial use.
The method uses a novel technique of ultrasonic devulcanisation of the sulphur crosslink bonds in the rubber compound, permitting the once scrap material to be reprocessed and reused. The National Science Foundation, NASA and a number of industrial companies funded the studies. Isayev founded Avraam Corp. to develop an industrial ultrasonic extruder to carry out the process of recovering rubber from tyres, roofing materials, shoe soles and other industrially significant products. World leading athletic shoe supplier Nike funded the research.
Meanwhile, researchers at Princeton University in the US have built a new type of sensor that could
help engineers quickly assess the health of a building or bridge. The sensor is an organic laser, deposited on a sheet of rubber. When it is stretched – by the formation of a crack, for instance – the colour of light it emits changes.