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Growth hopes for tyre markets as study finds retreads can use even more crumb

Markets for waste tyre rubber crumb could grow as research finds that such materials can be used in larger amounts in tyre retreads than previously thought. Levels of up to 40% recycled tyre rubber can be incorporated into retread compounds without any loss of durability or performance, according to research funded by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP). The study, called Using tyre rubber in retreads at high inclusion rates, also found that in some cases the new compounds offered improved performance. WRAP project manager for tyres Steve Waite said: The UK produces around 130,000 waste tyres every day so testing and developing new outlets for tyre-derived rubber material is a priority for the industry. This study provides reassurance for users that high percentages of rubber crumb can successfully be incorporated into retread compounds for truck and earthmover tyres without compromising tyre performance. It is especially encouraging that some of the new compounds produced during this trial have been shown to offer benefits over the original compound. Rubber Recovery business manager, and report author, Mark Stevenson commented: The results of this study overshadow those of all other similar trials to date. While the managing director of another company involved with the study, Envirogen Technologies Robin Pegden, described the findings as a completely new approach and a breakthrough. He said: A green sustainable solution now exists for the tyre industry; surface repolymerisation is the breakthrough that the waste tyre industry has always sought. The full report can be downloaded at www.wrap.org.uk/tyres.

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