Recycling end-of-life tires is old news in the U.S., and competition is tough. Therefore, tire recyclers who want to remain ahead of the competition must consider modernization.
Many tire recycling facilities in North America have been up and running for a long time—some close to 25 years. Because of globalization, customers today do not have the same requirements they did just 10 years ago. They are more selective when it comes to rubber and steel fraction quality. Even though the current tire recycling solutions are running as expected, optimizing production or upgrading the output can prove to be sound investments for the future.
Denmark-based Eldan Recycling has been a reliable supplier of tire recycling equipment in North America for more than 35 years and has seen a continued interest despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Contrary to many competitors, Eldan is known for its extensive experience, which gives the company the confidence to guarantee input capacity and an output fraction purity that meets industry standards, making the company popular amongst American tire recyclers.
Trusting in experience
Alexander Greb, area sales manager for North America at Eldan, says: “For many years, recyclers relied on having the best machines on the market. But many tire recyclers notice an increased pressure to either lower prices or to supply fraction qualities worth paying extra for. Eldan can assist in pin-pointing what can be changed or improved.”
He continues, ”We had a customer recently who had been running their system for many years already. He was very content with production and end product, but we convinced him to let us have a look to see if any improvements could be made. By adding smaller components and adjustments, the capacity of the system was increased by 5 to 10 percent, and he was able to earn back the investment in approximately one month. Larger upgrades will take a little longer, of course.”
Flexibility is the future
One popular way to upgrade production is by increasing capacity, while upgrading the purity of the rubber and steel fractions also is common. The steel fraction from a standard tire recycling system still contains some rubber and textile; but, by adding a steel cleaning system, the rubber and textile content in the steel fraction can be reduced to 1 to 2 percent (98 to 99 percent clean steel wire). This is a very attractive material for steelworks, for example.
Other upgrades frequently done include adding an Eldan Multi Purpose Rasper to a primary shredding line. This enables the recycler to produce steel-free tire chips. Adding a quality upgrading system to a granulation plant will turn rubber granulate into “black gold,” which is approximately 99.99 percent free of impurities, or investing in a powder plant allows recyclers to produce 20-to-50-mesh rubber powder from granulate. Plant modules like the above ensure a robust business for keeping up with the constant innovations on the tire market and meeting customer demands.