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The European Center for Elastomeric Powders supports the recycling of rubber

Rubber granulates and fine rubber powders have major potential in terms of possible applications. In the past, rubber granulates were in the best case used for secondary products such as sports surfaces. Now, rubber granulates are increasingly being recognized as high-quality raw materials or as components of new raw materials. The goal of the European Center for Elastomeric Powders (euCEP) is to optimize the added value in recycling of elastomers by means of a systematic analysis of the topic.

One is familiar with elastomers or rubber from technical applications so called general rubber goods (GRG) , such as treads, seals and insulation materials. What is new is the  development in material recycling of GRG, which is  making  increased added  value possible. In the past, rubber granulates were regarded only as cheap, recycled raw materials. Now, rubber granulates are increasingly developing into functional additives in the modification of thermoplastics, lacquer, paint and coatings and as raw materials for the development of new high-quality applications.

With the goal of building up a European centre of competence for recycling of rubber and production of rubber granulates, and to do practical research into the recycling of GRG and subsequent use of rubber granulates, the Fontys Technical and Management College in Venlo and the German research institute Fraunhofer UMSICHT in Willich have started an alliance.

The project comprises:

  • Capture and cataloguing of elastomer residues from production waste
    (initially for the Netherlands and Germany),
  • Development of logistics concepts for segregated collection of elastomer
    residues to assure quality,
  • Research into cryogenic and ambient comminution methods,
  • Physical/chemical characterization of elastomer powders and granulates,
  • Building of equipment and systems for technical analysis
    of elastomer powders and granulates, and
  • Physical/chemical characterization of base materials modified using
    elastomer powders and granulates.
© Fraunhofer UMSICHT /
Fontys FHTBM