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Naples, FL, United States

A method of functionalizing reclaimed elastomer material is described. The method involves subjecting particles of the reclaimed elastomer material to shear at temperatures less than 100 C. such that inter-chain bonds of the reclaimed elastomer material are cleaved wherein the particles of the reclaimed elastomer material have a size of 60 mesh or smaller. The reclaimed elastomer material can be subjected to shear in the presence of a modifier which selectively promotes the cleavage of inter-chain bonds in the reclaimed elastomer material. A functionalized reclaimed elastomer material made by a method as described above and an elastomer compound which comprises the functionalized reclaimed elastomer material are also described.


A method of functionalizing reclaimed elastomer material is described. The method involves subjecting particles of the reclaimed elastomer material to shear at temperatures less than 100 C. such that inter-chain bonds of the reclaimed elastomer material are cleaved wherein the particles of the reclaimed elastomer material have a size of 60 mesh or smaller. The reclaimed elastomer material can be subjected to shear in the presence of a modifier which selectively promotes the cleavage of inter-chain bonds in the reclaimed elastomer material. A functionalized reclaimed elastomer material made by a method as described above and an elastomer compound which comprises the functionalized reclaimed elastomer material are also described.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.68K | Year: 2010

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will re-engineer an environmentally troublesome waste material, end of life rubber tires, into value-added, sustainable raw materials for the plastics market. Previous work with composites containing ground tire rubber (GTR), manufactured using ambient or cryogenic processing, has yielded limited success. In this project we will use cryogenically-ground GTR to create extruded recycled polypropylene (r-PP) composites. Our preliminary results indicate that cryogenic GTR has a higher percentage of small particles than commercially-available ambient GTR at the same mesh size. Smaller particles provide more boundaries for impact energy dissipation and larger surface area to interact with the polymer matrix. Using this raw material, and building on knowledge of the differences in surface area and chemistry for the two types of particles, we will successfully demonstrate high-performance composite material samples. A successful outcome of this work will enable improved formulations and processing methods, resulting in superior mechanical performance of composites. This performance will be verified by laboratory tests in Phase I, leading to a Phase II effort focused on scale-up and commercialization of this process in conjunction with strategic partners. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be to enable the use of recycled rubber powders derived from end of life tires in a value-added product for the plastics market. This will increase the market potential and profitability of this recycling process and expand the range of available options for dealing with the significant environmental issue of approximately 300 million used tires generated per year nationwide. The commercial opportunity is estimated to be $0.3 - 1 billion and is spread across the construction, automotive and consumer markets. Clear and significant societal benefits would also result from the transformation of a problematic environmental waste into a versatile and sustainable raw material.


Patent
Lehigh Technologies, Inc | Date: 2014-02-11

Curable elastomer compositions are described which include particles of reclaimed elastomeric material having a particle size of 60 mesh or smaller, sulfur and one or more accelerators, wherein the ratio by weight of the one or more accelerators to sulfur in the composition is at least 1:1. Curable styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) elastomer compositions are also described which include reclaimed elastomeric material, sulfur and one or more accelerators, wherein the ratio by weight of the one or more accelerators to sulfur in the composition is at least 1:1. The cured elastomeric compositions exhibit improved physical properties compared to elastomer compositions containing reclaim material which employ conventional high sulfur cure systems.


Methods for making elastomer compounds are described. The compounds include reclaimed vulcanized elastomer materials such as micronized rubber powders (MRP). The elastomeric compositions exhibit lower tensile strength variability. As described herein, shorter mixing times can be used to achieve the same minimum tensile strength as composition containing no reclaimed material. The elastomeric compositions may include various proportions of reclaimed vulcanized elastomer materials. A rubber compound is also described which comprises reclaimed material and which has a minimum tensile strength equal to or higher than a predetermined minimum tensile strength associated with a compound containing no reclaimed material. The rubber compound is manufactured with a reduced mixing time compared to that of the compound with no MRP.

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