Graduate Research School Available Projects Recycling of steel cord conveyor belt and tyres

Recycling of steel cord conveyor belt and tyres

Title of Project

Recycling of steel cord conveyor belt and tyres


Dr Greg Wheatley

College or Research Centre

College of Science & Engineering

Summary of Project

“Disposal of used tires is a global environmental problem. Waste tire recycling has not only environmental but also economic implications associated with the re-use of raw materials. Every year nearly 3 billion of tires are produced for passenger cars, SUVs, trucks and other vehicles, and demand for tires is growing. Meanwhile, about 1.4 billion of end-of-life tires (ELTs) are annually disposed to landfills and treated as waste. Eco-friendly disposal of tires is a rather difficult technological problem because a tire is a complex rubber product reinforced with steel wire and cotton cloth. Recently tires with steel cord have become more common because along with higher vehicle speeds more stringent technical criteria for tires are applied. Effective ways of separating rubber from the steel cord have to be found in order to develop a highly efficient ELTs recycling technology. Tires are made of a mixture of different materials, including synthetic and natural rubber, butyl rubber, textile, steel, carbon black and a variety of chemical additives, which are cured at high temperatures during the manufacturing process. Tire burning is difficult compared to the ordinary fuel, even though the calorific content value of tires is much higher than the heating value of coal and is close to that of the natural gas. Higher temperatures and longer time is required to reach the heating in full and to oxidize the hydrocarbons to carbon dioxide and water. In the state of end-of-life, tires that have lost about 15 % to 20 % of their initial weight still contain about 75 % of natural rubber that can be recycled. UAB Metaloidas is one of the biggest tire recycling facilities in the Baltic States and has the capacity to mechanically shred 30 000 tons of used tires per year. The shredding process yields about 12 000 tons of crumb rubber and 40 000 m2 of rubber paving. However, the remaining textile and steel cord scrap has not been efficiently used yet.” This project centres on improving on current methods of recycling of both tyres and steel cord conveyor belt.

Key Words

Laboratory testing; prototype testing

Would suit an applicant who

has a sound academic background, research experience, an interest in chemical and mechanical engineering and strong experimental and computational skills.

Updated: 14 May 2020