Objectives of the commitment
In a world where demand for finite scarce resources such as polymers and other raw materi-als for elastomers will continue to increase, Europe can benefit economically and environ-mentally from making better use of those resources. Circular economy systems keep the added value in products for as long as possible and eliminate waste. They keep resources within the economy when a product has reached its end of the life, so that they can be pro-ductively used further. Several applications for tyre derived rubber materials were developed over the years with insufficient success. Useful procedures for the recovery of most of the tyre rubbery materials from whole tyres and sufficient concepts for the reuse in high quality products are not available. The objective of the work is to address this gap. Innovation fo-cuses on SBR-silica/silane compounds, on blend systems and on robust processes.
Description of the activities
Scope:The most promising method to reuse ELT-derived rubber materials in high quality products is devulcanisation (DV). Under the scope of this commitment are modern passenger car tyres, which consist of high sophisticated complex recipes (winter-, summer tyres etc.). This project will address how to (i) devulcanise all elastomeric components of tyres (passenger car tyres, S-SBR/silica or blend based-systems) in an economical way and how to (ii) recover non-polymer tyre ingredients. Pre-sorting processes have to be reduced as much as possible.
Activities: De- and re-vulcanization:
a) Feedstock: It is known, that differences in composition of tyre compounds - in particu-lar the type of polymers and the crosslink distribution - influences the devulcanisation (DV) mechanism and efficiency and a thorough study of the different parts of a tyre in terms of de- and re-vulcanization is required by analyses in order to determine whether or not a tyre has to be separated into the single rubber layers before DV. Rubber powder or granulates from whole tyres (through industrial partnerships) will be used as an ideal feedstock for the DV process and for the recovery of non-polymer ingredients.
b) Devulcanisation (DV): Two devulcanisation strategies should be explored:
(i) Use of devulcanisation agents (DA)
Existing work at the above mentioned labs, especially including the development of a devulcanisation process for passenger car whole tyre rubbers on lab scale and its transfer to pilot scale (currently running and done at the University of Twente) forms the basis for further development and scale-up of the devulcanisation process, includ-ing optimization of DA and screening for devulcanisation aids appropriate for regular production. Besides, the impact of variations in feedstock composition like resins, sil-ica/silane-S-SBR- and S-SBR-blend systems on the devulcanisation efficiency has to be studied.
(ii) No use of devulcanisation agents-Treatment with pressure and temperature
Alternatively thermal devulcanisation needs to be explored. This requires a series of specific studies to optimise the process conditions in order to recover the polymeric fraction and the residual filler-enriched fraction. Selective characterisation techniques are to be applied to develop the process and obtain a good understanding of the composition of these fractions.
c) The polymer and filler fractions obtained from the DV processes have to be characterised chemically and for their reuse in new rubber materials.
d) According to state-of-the-art, disulfides are the most appropriate DAâs. As this class of materials or their reaction products are potentially classified hazardous, more suitable devulcanisation agents (DA) have to be tested vs REACH compliance.
e) For the final combination of feedstock and DA, the devulcanisate has to be analysed for potential health or environmental hazards
f) One goal is the use of a significant percentage of ELT-derived devulcanised rubber in tyres or in other elastomeric products. A study on whether or not this has a measurable effect on product performance properties needs to be conducted.
Recovery of non-polymeric raw materials
The most valuable additives from the rubber compounds should be recovered by extraction and clean up steps. Materials of choice are e.g. plasticisers, resins, antioxidants, fillers and ZnO. The extraction processes and clean up steps have to be carried out in line with REACH requirements. The reuse is to be investigated in selected high quality elastomeric products or tyres.
Description of the expected impacts
- Get a wider range of ELT applications
- Get higher value materials (vs. commodity approach) to substitute virgin materials
- Get reliable information on the performance of ELT recovered materials (for ex. reinforcement properties)
- Reuse ELT-derived raw materials in agri tyres, earth mover tyres and conveyor belts.
- Get reliable information on the performance of semi-finished compounds (such as tread, rubber compound, rubberized steel & textile cord) made with ELT recovered materials
- High volumes of rubber compound materials are needed in such high quality products.
- The approach for a robust devulcanisation process and technology of blend systems improve the economic situation since it reduces the need for pre-sorting of the rubber compound materials
Coordinating organisation & role
Name of the coordinating organisation: ETRMACountry: EuropeEntity profile: OtherRole within the commitment:
Coordinator of the project and interface with the end-users group (tyre manufacturers).
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur FÃ¶rderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.
Name of the organisation: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur FÃ¶rderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V. Country: Germany Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: Fraunhofer will lead the CFRP and GFRP recycling research.
Fraunhofer will perform corrosion tests on the developed materials.
Fraunhofer will work with CIDAUT on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project. Fraunhofer is the Quality Manager of the Consortium and will oversee deliverables and general reporting are produced with the best possible quality following agreed review standards.
Name of the organisation: Fundacion Cidaut Country: Spain Entity profile:
Role within the commitment: CIDAUT will lead the research activities on materials recycling and compounding, implementing lab scale demonstrators of each process at its premises and, later, supporting end-users upscale the processes.
CIDAUT will perform mechanical tests, microstructural analyses, injection moulding capability studies on the developed materails, and will work with Fraunhofer on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project.
RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV)
Name of the organisation: RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV) Country: Germany Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: RWTH will implement the novel 3D Generative Preforming process (3D Fibre Spraying) that enables to create high-value long fibre-reinforced 3D preforms for thermoplastic and thermoset composites at low process costs (different kinds of yarn as a raw material, low tooling costs due to low cavity pressures). This cost effective technology allows to align the sprayed fibres in order to produce high-performance, engineered anisotropic products.
Universita' di Cagliari
Name of the organisation: Universita' di Cagliari Country: Italy Entity profile:
Role within the commitment: University of Cagliari is one of the leading European organization in the resin design and coupling with thermoplastic and thermose materials. University of Cagliari will support in the definition of the composite materials, both from CFRP/GFRP, ABS and Rare Earth composite material.
Name of the organisation: Relight Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: RELIGHT will work with ITRB to provide the research partners with residues for the recycled ABS supply and the REE recovery processes, including their HydroWEEE process as part of the processes to be studied and analyzed.
Name of the organisation: Piaggio Aerospace Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - large company
Role within the commitment: Piaggio Aerospace is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Piaggio will assist in the compounds selection, provide Fraunhofer with specific corrosion requirements on business jet size aircraft, and will assess that the developed materials performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.
Name of the organisation: Blackshape Aircrafts Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: Blackshape Aircrafts is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Blackshape will support to fulfill the requirements of the aeronautics industry on ultra light jet, light jet and trainer for Syllabus, and will assess that the developed alloys performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.
Name of the organisation: KU Leuven Country: Belgium Entity profile: Academia
Role within the commitment: KUL will collaborate on the balance problem studies and will lead the rare earth recovery research with the solvometallurgical and ionometallurgical processes.
KUL will also contribute to the final compounding selection.
KUL is the Dissemination Manager of the project, promoting that all partners are active on the project Dissemination.
Name of the organisation: FIDAMC Country: Spain Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: FIDAMC is going to lead the Work Package on Compression Moulding with CFRP-enhanced materials. As part of the AIRBUS Group, FIDAMC will also be able to provide the input material.
FIDAMC successfully developed a 3D Printer of own design to serve the Aerospace Industry and will be supporting Smart Lab 3D Industries in its 3D printer design.
COMPOSITE INNOVATION CENTER
Name of the organisation: COMPOSITE INNOVATION CENTER Country: Canada Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: Composite Innovation Center is one of the world leading organization in the field of Composite materials, both from carbon fiber and vegetal-based fibers.
Composite Innovation center has successfully implemented, at lab-scale, recycling processes for CFRP and GFRP.
Existing EU Contribution: No
Period to implement the commitment: from 01-05-2016 to 31-01-2022