Recycled Tires Injection Molded with High-End Surface Finish

Recycled Tires in Thermoplastics is Evolving

Using recycled tires in injection molding is a very new technology. One year ago the breakthrough applications were still just getting off the ground. Our wheel chock case study is a perfect example. Our objective was to improve weatherability, flexibility, memory, impact resistance, stress resistance and surface grip. Mission accomplished.

At that time in our innovation curve, we weren’t yet prepared to use this technology with parts that required precision or high-end surface finishes. But as with most new technologies, things continued to evolve. At the same time, we were going through the accreditation process for ISO certification which married up well with our company’s style of pushing the limits. “It’s about raising the bar,” says Lavon Detweiler, Entech’s CEO. “When we first started molding parts with micronized rubber parts, we didn’t think ultra precise surface finishes were possible. Now we’re producing incredible surface finishes.”

Incorporating Recycled Tires is Just the Beginning

By using MRP in thermoplastics, we are challenged to create unique formulations. Haikun Xu, Entech’s research and development chemist is leading the charge. “MRP is a great complimentary material. Now that we have found ways to produce intricate and high-end finishes it really opens the door to many more applications. We’re even working on non-smell formulations which is amazing” says Xu.

These formulations are just the beginning. We’re advancing the understanding of TPO’s and TPE’s at an even broader scale. Keep an eye out for more innovative featured projects.

Video Script: This is an injection-molded sample of a thermoplastic with micronized rubber powder, otherwise known as MRP. It represents a breakthrough with both the use of recycled tire rubber and advancements in injection molding.

Until now, micronized rubber powder has only been used in thermoplastic applications where surface finish requirements weren’t very critical.

This sample shows the incredible details achieved with cross hatching and highly polished reflective surfaces. This achievement opens the door for the use of MRP in many automotive, transportation and performance applications.