TPE Radiator Components from Post Consumer Tires 2001-01-3763
Over 250 million tires are scrapped in the United States each year. Tires have been a problematic scrap because they have been designed to resist destruction, and have a tendency to float upwards in landfills. Improper storage has resulted in tire fires1--an even more problematic environmental concern than unsightly piles which can serve as breeding grounds for insect vectors. A better solution is to recover materials for use in new components. Not only does this resolve the landfill issue, but it also serves to conserve resources, while returning an economic benefit to society.
This paper traces the introduction of tire material recovery at NRI Industries and DaimlerChrysler Corporation (DCC), the development of the infrastructure and materials, and the launch of the Jeep Grand Cherokee thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) radiator seals, comprised of post consumer tire crumb. Technological and economical feasibility of post-consumer tire material is demonstrated with a case study of a benchmark2, 3,4 automotive TPE. The technical challenges of the product, performance characteristics and environmental benefits are discussed.