Uses of clean rubber crumb

Written by janelle bartels
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Uses of clean rubber crumb
Old tires can be processed into crumb rubber, a useful and versatile substance. (stack of old tires image by JoLin from Fotolia.com)

Processed waste tires, also known as crumb rubber, have a variety of uses. Crumb rubber, or ground rubber, is a wire-free fine rubber particle made from scrap tires. Utilising crumb rubber in the manufacture of rubber and plastic products or in civil engineering projects has several advantages. It can be used as a filler and therefore reduce overall cost. It also can add functionality to the end products. This process minimises waste and has environmental benefits.

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Rubber and Plastics

Crumb rubber is often incorporated into rubber or plastic products. Common items include floor mats, carpet padding, vehicle mudguards and adhesives. There are numerous uses of clean crumb rubber in a variety of industries. In the road and rail industry, for example, applications include speed bumps and rail crossings. Packaging, mining, marine and landscaping are all industries that make constructive use of clean crumb rubber. Particularly popular within the automotive industry, its uses include vehicle bumper bars, adhesive sealants, gaskets, oil spill absorbers and tire retreads.

Widespread Commercial Uses

The use of crumb rubber extends to many commercial applications. Athletic facilities utilise it in fitness flooring, foam mats and on-deck circles. Park and recreation surfacing often uses of crumb rubber. Pet products include dog agility flooring, dog mats, horse training tacks, animal bedding and protective fencing. Knives, adhesives, shoe soles, runways and transition strips also can utilise this versatile product.

Civil Engineering

Civil engineering applications are considered great uses for crumb rubber, specifically due the strength and other physical properties of crumb rubber. Crumb rubber as a raw material can improve the properties of the product in question. The construction and industrial industries use crumb rubber for foundation material, acoustic barriers, membrane protection, mounting pads and making plastic compounds. Another major application includes rubber-modified asphalt, a huge market for waste tire recycling and an improvement for road construction technology.

Filtration

Crumb rubber can be used as a water filtration system. While filters are traditionally made of particles of sand or anthracite, crumb rubber can serve the same purpose but not clog as quickly. According to environmental engineer Yuefeng Xie, because crumbs of rubber approximately 1 to 2 millimetres across are compressible, causing the crumbs at the bottom to always be the smallest in size, they make an ideal filtration system.

Environment

Recycling this rubber can help eliminate hazardous wastes from landfills and illegal tire piles while time putting an extremely versatile and beneficial substance to good use.

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