Rubber granulate has been used as a filler in artificial turf systems on sport fields. In these, tyre derived rubber replaces the virgin styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) granulates with recycled materials. Artificial turf is used to increase the availability of games, especially in arctic environments and to reduce maintenance of the pitches. FIFA also recommends artificial turfs.
Tyre derived rubber is also used in elastic safety mats and rubber pavements. Safety mats and pavements are required safety equipment in certain sports tracks and playgrounds.
- Durability: Withstands mechanical abrasion, chemicals, UV-radiation
- Heavier than water: not easily carried away by rain/flood water
- Less maintenance: Cost efficiency
The demand of rubber granulate is increasing
Manufacturers of ground tiles, specific vehicle components, sound-absorbing mats, and flower pots are demanding rubber granulate because it can be pressed into different shapes. The products become durable, have a soft and elastic surface and can be supplied in different colours.
The demand of a variety of synthetic compounds is increasing, which encourages the development of pressed products. The potential for pressed products is estimated to increase. Society is setting ever higher demands on the safety of outdoor environments and at playgrounds where ground tiles, play facilities and flowerpots are made of rubber granulate. These are effective solutions with well-documented properties. The material is also used in several lifestyle products, e.g. shoe soles, as an environmentally-friendly alternative to virgin material based equivalents.
- Soft and durable products
- Eco-friendly alternative to the use of industrial rubber
- Safe products to minimise injuries as a result of falling or collisions in urban environments
Tyre shreds have properties that make them suitable for light fill, frost insulation or drainage material in various applications. In Finland used tyres and tyre derived shreds are commonly used the material in civil engineering. According to the National Environmental Protection Act, the use of used tyres in certain conditions in land construction does not require an environmental permit. The material producer must have adequate quality management and make needed notifications according to the national regulations.
In Sweden, tyre shreds have primarily been used as a drainage material for final coverage in landfills and as a component in paddocks (riding grounds). It is also common to use tyre shreds as landfill draining blankets. Successful initiatives have also been made to use the material as drainage blankets for the construction of asphalted areas and roads.
- Light material: no need for reinforcement on soft grounds
- High and permanent drainage capacity
- Frost insulation
Internationally tyre derived materials have been used for over 20 years for water purification purposes as a replacement material for natural gravel or other materials. In Finland and Sweden, there have been initiatives in using tyre shreds as biological filters for sewage waters. The studies have shown that tyre shreds are favourable media for nutrient reducing microbes. In the studies, it has also been shown that shreds maintain their drainage capacity well, which is a prerequisite for infiltration systems to achieve a long lifespan.
- Remarkable purification capacity of nutrients
- High and permanent drainage capacity
- Low thermal conductivity
There are successful initiatives to use tyre derived rubber in asphalt, also in arctic environments as in Finland and Sweden. In rubber asphalt, rubber granulate or powder are mixed in the binder, bitumen. Rubber asphalt has shown to be a technically competitive surfacing.
- Reduction in the use of virgin binder
- Reduction in sensitivity to temperature related cracking
There is a demand in energy production for rubber material due to its high energy value. Tyres and tyre shreds are therefore used as fuel in power plants and for the manufacturing of cement. In the cement industry, the use of tyre materials as fuel adds value also to the manufacturing process. Tyres contain steel, which otherwise is an additive in the manufacturing of cement.
- High energy value
- Additive during cement manufacturing
- Easy to store