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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

European strategy for market development of innovative use of tyre recycled materials

Objectives of the commitment

The main objective of the RUBBERTOMARKET is developing a self-sustaining and market-driven tyre recycling sector that is well integrates within the European Circular Economy Strategy.
Improvement of the added value of secondary raw materials either by promotion of best practices, technological development and the compliance of quality standards.
Development of ELT material applications based on secondary raw materials with the aim to provide the market with oil based materials, reducing dependency from outside suppliers and improving its competitiveness of the industry in Europe.
Starting I+D projects recycling sector finding common benefits, optimizing human and economic resources, sharing knowledge and cost of developments.
The establishment of common marketing ideas for the promotion of materials within the industry and Authorities for granting recycled materials uses.

Description of the activities

European policy on waste establishes the need to properly manage products when become waste. Many of the them at the end of its life, have a management cost, ie treatment thereof. In the particular case of tyres the recovery cost is higher than the price in the market of the materials obtained after treatment, even though the intrinsic value of many of the materials is higher, meanly because two reason, one is because the market doesn´t know the properties of material and performances and second because offer and demand is not well balanced.
The recycling industry in many countries is not able by itself to carry out a real change from waste to a new raw material status thru the development of applications with high added value.
The approach of the management companies in several European countries is to continue and launch different activities to develop the market as a whole. These activities are varied since the necessary efforts for years of a proper development of the market has been enormous. However the important ones can be described as follows:
• Continue organizing the collection and proper management of used tyres, allocating then in treatment facilities with sufficient quantities to meet market demand and individual objectives of each Member State.
• To promote the production of quality recycled materials from ELT where the tyre components meet the specifications to make them attractive to the market. In this sense all components of this Commitment are also involved in the Commitment ELSTANDARD approved by the European Commission in the framework of Raw Materials. The main reason for those standards is to encourage the quality of tyre recycling in grinding companies
• Understanding of the needs of possible users of materials regarding their possible ELT derived materials consumption after market studies and direct meeting with potential consumers.
• Implement R & D projects for the development of new applications of materials derived from ELT treatment.
• Development of patents and make them available to European industry, increasing its competitiviness to balance lower labor workforce cost countries
• To promote new and most effective technologies in terms of cost, energy consumption and quality products among recycling industry.
• Promote project´s result the consumption of secondary materials from recycled tyres, and products containing them, through participation in discussion Forums, Conferences and Congresses at European level.
• Demonstrate to market the advantages of the use of ELT materials, applications and correctly specified in sectors as diverse as, road safety, footwear and fashion, road infrastructure, the rubber industry, automotive, or any other, by launching technical information and guidelines produced by the companies participating in this commitment.
• Supporting demonstration and pilot projects made with ELT materials to improve the added value of pro ducts.
• Ensure compliance of secondary raw materials with health and safety aspects and help the recycling industry with the necessary studies for clarification.
• Implement an strategy pull instead of push for ELT materials

Description of the expected impacts

Many goods made with rubber are not made with recycled materials mainly because of the lack of technological developments of the formula. The availability in Europe of secondary resources, could result in an improved competitiveness and job creation because of this change.
Despite the absence of global recycling targets in EU, many member states have implemented individually common targets regarding material recovery and energy recovery while also avoiding landfill so this strategy will lead to an improvement of recycling of tyres.
The need to incorporate recycled materials into products result in an increase in R&D projects across Europe. Besides organizing these projects through participation of one or more European Tyre Management Companies, coordinated in a more effectively way through international cooperation.
Some of the participants in the commitment because of cultural and language reasons have relations with Latin America and North Africa, so it is not unusual a certain collaboration with countries in those environments. Many of the world´s ELT management companies and projected companies have visited most of the participants in this commitment to replicate the business model for recovering ELT.
In the medium and long term the availability of materials of adequate quality could promote in the tyre industry the use of relevant secondary materials for the manufacture of new tyres.
The positive impact on society is clearly visible with the improvement of the environmental impact of products thanks to carbon footprint reductions and also through an additional economic impact by reducing the total cost of management of ELTs.
Job creation throughout the value chain, from the production of new materials and development and manufacture of new applications.

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: SIGNUS ECOVALORCountry: SpainEntity profile: Private sector - large companyRole within the commitment:

SIGNUS will coordinate the activities as follows: It will be responsible to inform ELTco´s with appropriate information from EIP and viceversa, regular contact by phone or mail will be usual for updating. Companies have been meeting 3 times per year for discussion of issues related with this commitment, and we will. Other opportunities to meet for specific projects will be used to update R+D projects and discussion of common actions to be taken

Other partners

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.

Name of the organisation: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung 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.

Fundacion Cidaut

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.

Piaggio Aerospace

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.

Blackshape Aircrafts

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.

KU Leuven

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.


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 01-01-2016 to 31-12-2020