What is the process of Rubber Recycling?
Rubber recycling is not an easy process, however, there is increasing pressure on rubber manufacturing companies to commit to a more environmentally friendly way to develop their products. In this article, we look at how rubber engineering experts Martin’s Rubber, have reshaped their processes (and their rubber) to commit to a more eco-friendly future.
How is rubber recycled at Martin’s Rubber?
Unlike other popular materials such as plastic, the molecular structure of rubber makes it incredibly difficult to break down into its constituent parts. This makes it very hard to remould and use again. Rubber engineering experts, Martin’s Rubber, have been taking steps to overcome this challenge and have developed an innovative rubber recycling process.
The most challenging part of rubber recycling is solving the issue of remoulding. With most other substances, it is as simple as melting them down and then re-using. This is not possible with rubber due to its molecular structure, where the molecules are joined by covalent bonds that are permanent. It is because of this that rubber has the capability to be flexible and can reform back to its original shape when altered from its current form.
To overcome this, Martin’s Rubber has developed its Remould™ process. Here are the stages of the process:
1. Using end-of-life rubber products, they begin by breaking down the vulcanised rubber using a series of unique processes. This enables them to break down the molecular bonds of the rubber to the point that the material becomes reusable.
2. Next, they combine this rubber with eco-friendly compounds from another product type, usually plastic, and begin the remoulding process.
3. During this remoulding process, the rubber compounds behave in much the same way as virgin material, therefore changing the rubber’s molecular state and creating new bonds.
4. A new rubber product is formed and ready for use.
The future of green rubber
Over six years ago, Martin’s Rubber predicted a bright future for rubber recycling when asked ‘does green rubber have a future?’ Since then they have been committing time and resources into ensuring that they are bucking the trend when it comes to rubber recycling, and the latest development of this comes through their new eco-friendly rubber range - Envirolast.
The Envirolast range guarantees that up to 50% of the rubber in each product sent for remoulding has been recycled from previously used products. This enables Martin’s Rubber to provide a range of rubber products that are kinder on the planet but still maintain their high-quality standards. It really is a win-win.
For more information about Martin’s Rubber and their rubber recycling range, visit the Envirolast section of the website.
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