Global retreaded tyre sales are expected to reach US$ 8.8 billion in 2021, according to research produced by ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting firm Future Market Insights. According to the new report entitled “Retread Tires Market”, the increase in average miles driven and growing vehicle parc will drive the tyre aftermarket, subsequently fuelling the demand for retreaded tyres.
We have all witnessed the recent spike in interest in tyre pyrolysis-related recycling during the last year or so. The concepts themselves are not new, so what is behind renewed interest and confidence in such projects? As well as an uptick in investment in tyre pyrolysis plants, the last few months have also seen the publication of a flurry of peer-reviewed research papers into different aspects of waste tyre pyrolysis. As part of this year’s annual Tyre Recycling feature, we took a look at the three most recent papers in order to find out more.
Does the hyper-elasticity of retreaded tyres impact their behavioural quality? Uday Gudsoorkar and Rupa Bindu, two researchers working within the department of mechanical engineering at the Dr DY Patil Institute of Technology in Pune, India sought to answer this question and more by using computer-aided finite element analysis. Their paper “Computer simulation of hyper elastic re-treaded tire rubber with ABAQUS”, which was published in November 2020 in Materials Today: Proceedings used a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies to measures forces across the tread belt in a compute simulation. These virtual samples were then compared with laboratory examples. According to the paper, the researchers’ findings are “promising to predict the behaviour of re-treaded tyre rubber” and can be “used to improve the product [retreaded truck tyres] and its utility in small tyre re-treaders, customers and policymakers.”
We’ve all heard of tyre-derived oil and rubberised tarmac, but what about tyre-utilising concrete? Australian researchers have developed a new technology to manufacture concrete made from recycled materials including tyres that is stronger and more durable than the traditional product.
The Tyre Collective – winners of the James Dyson Awards 2020 – have designed a device to capture tyre particulate at source. According to the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ “Air Quality: Brake, Tyre and Road Surface Wear” report, tyre-wear accounts for nearly half of road transport particulate emissions. Furthermore, a reported half a million tonnes of tyre particles are produced annually in Europe alone, from vehicles accelerating, braking and cornering. As we move towards electric vehicles in the future, exhaust emissions will reduce but tyre particles will continue. The Tyre Collective estimate that tyre emissions may even increase, as electric vehicles become heavier due to the added battery weight. For both reasons, this year’s UK national James Dyson Award winners attempt to address this issue.
The 39th Tire Society Conference on tyre science and technology, which runs from 28 September to 2 October, will be held entirely
virtually for the first time this year, due to the Covid pandemic. However, it will still feature 27 original works of tyre technology presented by the authors and a special topic paper on the 40+ year history of the Tire Society as well as a keynote address, plenary address, invited lecture and panel discussion.
The University of Plymouth published government-funded research into what happens to particles released from vehicle tyres back in May. This comparatively recent report – as far as academic research is concerned – was launched with no-small media fanfare amid claims that tyres “could be a significant and previously largely unrecorded source of microplastics in the marine environment”. Be that as it may, the research also highlighted a number of significant knowledge gaps in this field of research.
Michelin is coordinating 7 industrial partners, 5 Research & Technological Organizations (RTOs) and an innovation cluster into a European consortium designing pioneering processes to produce new tyres from end-of-life tyres (ELTs). The project, called BlackCycle owing to its focus on developing a circular economy for tyres, is run across five countries.
Since October 2018, four researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in the USA have worked together with Bridgestone to develop a means for vehicles to automatically measure tyre wear. The result of this collaboration is Osprey, a mmWave sensing system that reportedly can provide accurate measurements of tyre wear in real-time.
Brake manufacturer Brembo has decided to donate 1 million euros to three centres of excellence in Bergamo, namely the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, the Fondazione per la Ricerca Ospedale di Bergamo (FROM) foundation and the Mario Negri Institute, which are working in the region hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, combining clinical and pharmacological research.
Recent funding grants given to LeHigh University mean the college’s friction and adhesion research department will continue to develop innovative solutions that could fuel tyre development. According to the University, Anand Jagota, professor and founding chair of Lehigh University’s bioengineering department, has arrived at a milestone in his 15 years of researching friction and adhesion.
Working together with a Japanese university, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. (SRI) has established a new technique for observing materials contained within tyre rubber. This process differs from existing methods as it enables an evaluation of the actual rubber used in mass-produced tyres rather than relying upon processed test samples. The company behind the Falken tyre brand foresees the technique facilitating the development of tyres with superior performance characteristics.