Truth About Tire Recycling Experts Don’t Want You To Know

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Tire recycling

Introduction :

Tire recycling is a method of recycling tires that are no longer appropriate for use in trucks or cars due to accidents of some kind, such as a puncture. Today, we are all facing serious environmental problems. One of the things that contribute to this problem is the excessive use of rubber. But the solution lies in tire recycling and application of its byproducts.

As we all know, rubber has become a popular material for different products, mainly because of its durability. The most common use of rubber is for making tires that are used in different kinds of vehicles. There is a particular duration for tire use, so even if the tire is somehow still usable, for your safety, it has to be replaced. This is one of the reasons why tires keep accumulating in our landfills. Since burning tires is never a good idea, a common practice adopted by many people is to simply dump them. Dumping tires in landfills is also not a good idea, as it becomes a good breeding place for rodents and mosquitoes.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in 2003, scrap tire markets used 233 million, or 80.4% of the 290 million scrap tires manufactured annually. Scrap tires are used in a variety of applications in Tire derived fuel (TDF), civil engineering applications and Ground rubber/rubberized asphalt applications. From 1990 to 2003, the total number of scrap tires on the market rose from 11 million (24.5%) to 233 million (80.4%) of the 290 million produced.

On the other hand, rubber is one of the major causes of air pollution. This is when rubber products are burnt with regular heat and release harmful chemicals in the air, like dioxin, butadiene and other toxic gases. To make matters worse, these gases could cause cancerous diseases to anyone who is exposed to these chemicals. Researches show that the toxic gases emitted by burnt tires attack the nervous system, exposing a person to a lot of health risks. People who burn tires are not only doing damage to the environment but to other people’s health also. Good thing is that people are slowly learning that burning rubber should really be avoided.

The best way to deal with rubber products is to recycle them. This will not only help us decrease the number of tires in our environment but at the same time, it could also help reduce the pollution in our environment. Instead of dumping or burning tires, it is better to recycle them. There are now a lot of companies that had realized the importance of recycling tires and had seen its earning potentials. Since the reclaimed rubber could be made into other products, it could also be a good source of profit. On your part, you simply have to deliver your waste tires to companies or factories in your place that recycle rubber. This way, you are not only helping the environment, but you are earning with it as well.

As we know there are several uses of recycled rubber material. Some industries are using these as substitutes to save on money and environment such as

  • Recycled rubber is used for cushioning in playground, parks, schools and some other child-prone areas
  • Steel and Glass industries using shredded rubber to increase coal fuel sources. 
  • Clothing industry uses recycled car tires for making sports shoes, work shoes and also used in making waterproof clothes. 
  • It also used to contain oil and carbon black, two useful substances that scientists are still seeking ways to retrieve these materials from discarded tires.

Common Tire Recycling Methods :

One method of turning scrap tires into recycled rubber for use in new products is ultrasound recycling. In this process, high-powered ultrasound is applied in combination with heat and high pressure. These forces split bonds in the tires and form rubber gums that can be repaired and re-moulded. 

Another tire recycling method is tire pyrolysis. The process of waste tire Pyrolysis comprises of decomposition of content to a very high temperature in absence of oxygen. This innovative technique involves heating the tires in an oxygen-free environment, which causes them to melt down into their original compounds. Metal, carbon, heavy oils, benzene, kerosene and diesel are some of the byproducts of this process. Different by-products result from different temperatures used in the pyrolitic process. The product hence generated can be used as fuel like coal and charcoal or is widely used as activated carbon to purify various liquids and gases.

Besides recycling, there are still several options to convert scrap tires into reusable substrates for a number of projects and items.  Rubber Modified Concrete and Rubber Modified Asphalt are two popular products which are made with reused scrap tires. Other products such as rubber mulch, movable speed bumps, patio decks, and flooring materials can be made from reused tire rubber.

Byproducts of Tire Recycling

1) Tire Derived Fuel(TDF)

The definition of the output product is important for any waste recycling industry. Manufacturing products may be generated in the form of shredded tires and tire-derived fuel (TDF). Both these output products are valuable resources for further application.

The shredder tire could be further processed to obtain Crumb Rubber and Rubber Mulch. The tire-derived fuel (TDF) could be used as an energy source for generating heat in cement kiln, silicate industry, Paper & pulp mill boilers, power plants and other industrial boilers.

2) Rubber Mulch

The material used to cover the topsoil of agricultural and horticultural fields to insulate the soil from heat for soil moisture conservation is called mulch.

Generally, crop residues and straws are used for mulches. But rubber mulch provides several advantages compared to plant material based mulches. Reclaimed rubber derived mulch made from 100% recycled rubber can be used in gardens and sustainable landscaping.

3) Rubber Granule

When the scrap tire materials shredded with primary and secondary shredders pass through granulators then the output is the high-quality rubber granules.

The granular product of rubber obtained after passing through the granulator is referred to as rubber granule. The cheapest source of such rubber granules could be the scrap tires and rubber waste.

Application of Rubber Granules:

The rubber granules obtained from the recycling of scrap tires and waste rubbers have multiple applications. Rubber granules are used in the making of the following:

1.Athletic Tracks

Crumb rubber is used in the in-fill to make the surface of athletic track safe. The use of crumb rubber generated from the recycling of scrap tires is in the interest of saving environment campaign. The synthetic athletic tracks made by using crumb rubber are more durable and healthy compare to natural turf. It gives quite a natural appearance and very easy to maintain due to low dust characteristics of rubber particles.

2. Gym Flooring

 In recent times, gyms are spreading fast in the major cities and many people are also interested in having their own home gym. Gym flooring and the making of mats for home gyms are possible using crumb rubber. The gym floor made from crumb rubber provides both safety and comfort during exercise.

3. Playgrounds

The playgrounds for children can be made safe, durable and comfortable using crumb rubber. Many studies suggested that there is no negative effect on health.

4.Industrial Feedstock

Fine granules are used to make automotive parts, paints and coatings, require this finer size for feedstock.

5.Rubberized Asphalt

The crumb rubber blended into an asphalt mixer.his mix is then placed and compacted into a road surface. Rubberized asphalt has proven to be cost-effective and durable, with decreased maintenance needs and increased skid resistance relative to standard asphalt.  It has also been recognized for its reduction in traffic noise.

Liberty Tire recycling also developed SmartMix, an asphalt additive that utilizes sustainable materials & asphalt rubber technologies to produce high-performing paving materials with greater durability and flexibility.

4) Tire derived aggregate

The shreds of scrap tires are cheaper and sustainable alternatives to conventional lightweight fill in civil engineering applications. Shreds 3” or smaller are used as a drainage material, and shreds of 6” and more are used as permeable fill for infrastructure. The aggregate derived from tires is 1/3 the weight of the soil, drains 10 times as much as the soil, insulates 8 times as much as the stone, and costs less than sand and gravel.

Tire Recycling Equipment

Most businesses use shredding machines to recycle tyres properly In order to recycle tires properly, most companies use shredding equipment. However, they can’t use just any ordinary shredder. They have to use one that best fits the needs of the business. Two types of tire recycling machines are used for this purpose: high-speed and low-speed.


High-speed shredders are created in the form of a tub.  A scrap of the tyres is mounted in a vessel that moves around. As this is occurring, the tires are put in the centre, and they are broken or ground by a cutting instrument.

After the process is finished, the end result is a bunch of rubber that has been shredded. The shredded pieces go through a second round of grinding. These grinders use a lot of power. They need it because the grinders need strength to break down the rubber on the tires. Water gets on the tires when they reach the hammer mill. The rubber is separated from the steel wire of the beads, belts and sidewalls during the hammering process. Most of the steel wire is detached by magnets. During this time, more shredding is taking place.

A good reason to use these tub size grinders is that they provide a larger output. It’s estimated that they can actually process up to at least 4,000 tires an hour. If you’re operating the equipment, it can probably be done with an eight-hour time frame, maybe a little more.

Rotary Shear

Rotary shear shredders are renowned for shredding tires. The hook-shear shredders and Holman-type shredders are in this category.

The hook-shear shredders process the scraps of the tires on the container.  There are blades that are shaped like hooks at the bottom. As the blades operate, they are separated. During the rotation, the tire goes through the blades and gets shredded.  Hook-shear shredders normally operate at a slow speed.

The Holman shredder is used for the processing of scrap tires made of belted steel.  It favors the hook-shear shredder, but the difference is the rotors are made in a knife shape. Heat shrinking causes spacers to be connected to the shafts.  The spacers cannot tear away from the shafts. The knife is fastened to the rotor with bolts. The rotor has to be protected by liners to prevent premature wear and tear.

The blades used for this type of shredder help to cut maintenance costs. The blades also offer a fresh cut as the tires are shredded. To save on prices, the shredder is high on tire feeds.  When the entire wheel goes into the shredder, the tire does not bounce.

How to make money from used tires :

  • Sell locally on Facebook groups or Craiglist
  • List your tires on a specialized tire classified site like Sell My Tires
  • Sell used tires to your local tire shop
  • Haul away used tires from local tire stores if you have proper waste hauler’s license.
  • Sell your tires to a retread facility
  • Sell your tires to Tire Recycling Center like Liberty Tire Center, which is the largest tire recycling center in the United States.
  • Recycle used tire rims for cash
  • Create arts and crafts from used tires

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