Evaluation of Rubber Automotive Components Manufactured From Ultrasonically Devulcanized Rubber Derived From Scrap Tires 1999-01-0667
Rubber is used throughout an automobile for many components and these present a recycling challenge. Unlike thermoplastic materials that regain flow characteristics upon reheating (making them easier to recycle), vulcanized rubber exists as a network of crosslinked polymers, which is thermally irreversible. A new technology for ultrasonically devulcanizing crumb rubber (derived from scrap tires) is being investigated. The ultrasonic devulcanization transforms the vulcanized rubber back into a viscous, fluid-like material that can be easily reprocessed. Experiments are underway to determine the feasibility of reusing the devulcanized rubber in new automotive rubber components at substantial quantities. Sample products chosen for demonstration include mats, pedal pads, body plugs and tires.