Expanding the use of its mechanical recycling process further, German plant engineering company Zeppelin Systems has entered into another partnership with the Italian technology group formed by RubberJet and Vertech that are specialising in recycling particularly large scrap tyres, for example from trucks and construction and mining machinery. It adds that quality rubber recyclates are made from scrap tyres measuring up to 4 m in size, which can later be used to manufacture new tyres.
It had earlier in the month tied \up with French company Regom for recycling tyres.
According to current figures from the AZuR network (innovation forum for scrap tyre recycling, of which Zeppelin Systems is a member), around 3.5 million tonnes/year of scrap tyres are generated in Europe.
In Germany alone, around 550,000 tonnes of scrap tyres were accrued in 2021. If every scrap tyre in Europe was recycled, around 2.45 million tonnes of CO2 emissions would be saved, says Zeppelin.
“This potential must be tapped not only in terms of a sustainable circular economy. As an industrial company, we have a responsibility to make value chains more sustainable overall on a large scale in order to conserve the resources of our planet,” says Markus Vöge, CEO of Zeppelin Systems.
In line with this, the Friedrichshafen-based plant engineering company says it has developed a “revolutionary”, sustainable process for the mechanical recycling of scrap tyres in cooperation with international project partners from a wide range of industries. Recycled rubber granulate or “rubber flour” are thus given a second life.
In the patented and proprietary process developed by RubberJet Group and Vertech, primarily off-the-road or giant tyres – for example, from construction vehicles in diamond mines with diameters of up to 4 m – are broken down into individual parts by a high-pressure water jet process using a patented and proprietary 100% environmentally friendly method.
Rubber and steel are separated by the water jet technology, and the rubber flour and granulate obtained can be marketed directly as recycled material. By their very nature, the high natural rubber content of rubber used in large tyre compounds ensures that the recyclates obtained are of particularly high quality.
In addition, the recycling process gives the recycled materials an especially large surface structure. This is essential for renewed interlacing, such that the recycled material can be vulcanised again within the new tire compounds or generally the new rubber compounds.
RubberJet Group has been on the market since 2016, and the Italian company invested over six years developing the patented and proprietary waterjet technology.
“With high pressure water jet technology, large tyres can be economically and resource-efficiently recycled into a high-purity and surface-activated rubber flour that can be directly reused in a rubber compound,” explains Guido Veit, Vice President Sales for Polyolefins, Rubber and Silos at Zeppelin Systems.