Thanks to the “Rubber to Rubber” project, coordinated by EcoTyre, rubber granules from recycled End of Life Tyres (ELTs) can now be used to produce new tyres.
“Rubber to Rubber” translates the notion of circular economy into real practice, as rubber derived from waste tyres is turned into a genuinely new resource to be used for the production of new tyres.
EcoTyre coordinates all the actors of the ELT recycling and production chain in a one and only project that can give a boost to the industry sustainability, as it reduces the raw materials used for tyre production.
“Green tyres” containing recycled and de-vulcanized rubber are compared to traditional tyres by means of a test aimed at assessing the differences between the two types of tyres. For one year, 20 trucks of 5 different models drove for over 1,5 million Km of Italian roads using both standard binder and recycled binder derived from ELTs in conditions of high stress and full load up to 44 tons. The results obtained were extremely positive and encouraging. When compared to traditional tyres, new tyres showed an almost identical degree of wear despite the tens of thousands Km they were used on.
The innovative process is based on three main production steps.
- Tyres are grounded into granules with specific properties
- De-vulcanization of the granules that makes the rubber suitable for re-use into new tyres
- Preparation and analysis of a new binder, enhancing the features of recycled rubber
In view of the successful rollout of the “Rubber to Rubber” Project, EcoTyre has decided to launch “Rubber to Rubber 2.0” to extend the initiative to other types of tyres. Simultaneously the R&D labs are experimenting binders that contain a larger portion of recycled rubber than the current 20%, in order to reduce the amount of raw materials. EcoTyre has already begun to equip its fleet with green tyres.