Tyre Crumb rubber is recycled rubber produced from automotive and truck scrap tires. During the recycling process, steel and tire cord (fluff) are removed, leaving tire rubber with a granular consistency. Continued processing with a granulator or cracker mill, possibly with the aid of cryogenics or by mechanical means, reduces the size of the particles further. The particles are sized and classified based on various criteria including color (black only or black and white). The granulate is sized by passing through a screen, the size based on a dimension (1/4 inch) or mesh (holes per inch : 10, 20, etc.). Crumb rubber is often used in artificial turf as cushioning.
- Athletic surfaces and fields (rubber mulch)
- Agrimats and equestrian footing
- Automotive parts and tires
- Landscape, trails and walkways
- Molded and extruded products
- Playground and other safety surfaces
- Rubber modified asphalt and sealants
- Rubber and plastic blends
When dealing with asphalt overlays, reflection cracks can arise and cause an unwanted crack pattern beneath the pavement. Rubber-modified asphalt uses stress absorbing membranes that reduce the reflective cracking because of its elastic properties. With fewer cracks, there are fewer repairs, so crumb rubber assists in reducing maintenance costs. The pavement has an increased lifespan because after multiple uses and exposure to different elements, regular asphalt loses elasticity over time. The use of the artificial rubber resists the formation of cracks and has an anti-aging effect that keeps the asphalt in a better condition.
Crumb rubber is used as a filling in artificial turf fields. In 2007, use in this capacity prevented about 300 million pounds of rubber from polluting landfills. Generally, it takes 20,000–40,000 scrap tires to produce enough filling to cover an average football field (City of Portland, 2008)
The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection found in a 2010 study that stormwater passing through crumb rubber regularly exceeded aquatic acute toxicity for zinc. Additionally, copper, barium, manganese and aluminum were found at elevated levels after stormwater contacted the materials. Semi-volatile organic compounds and PAHs were found to be elevated as well. The levels of most of these compounds were higher than background but were below levels regulated in waterways for environmental protection.
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