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The polymer cost cutters: organic extenders Part 4 – Rubber-based extenders

SpecialChem / Jan 24, 2006

Rubber manufacturers are concerned by cost savings, the more so as rubber goods are mass-produced and must vie with thermoplastics which are easier to process. There are several routes to decrease rubber goods costs such as filling with cheap or performing fillers, and use of organic extenders. Among these, factices were already examined in a previous article. Organic Extenders for polymers. This paper is going to deal with rubber-based extenders, devulcanized rubbers and crumbs that can bring, in addition to cost saving, some other technical or environmental advantages (see Figure 1). Crumbs of end-of-life tyres representing roughly 20% of tyre wastes and reclaimed or devulcanized rubber wastes have the advantage to reduce the total amount of wastes generated each year. Because of its three-dimensional structure and of the weak differences between energy needed to break links and macromolecules, rubber is a difficult material to recycle. Moreover tyres and many rubber products are intimate combinations of rubber, fillers, chemical products, fibres, steel reinforcements, cured together and difficult to separate.

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