A Circular Material for the Tire and Rubber Industry
TDP is a 100% recycled rubber master batch compound used in tires, molding, conveyors, and other applications. It is a versatile, functional material that offers a balance of low cost and high performance.
Typically TDP can be used in significantly higher percentages compared to traditional recycled products such as reclaimed rubber or micronized rubber powder (MRP). TDP has already been used at the ~20% addition level in the tire industry for over 5 years!
TDP can be produced from a variety of sources, such as whole tires, tread-only, retread buffing, and other types of rubber scrap. Our standard material, TDP-B, is made from truck tire tread.
Tyromer produces TDP (Tire-Derived Polymer) from scrap & end-of-life tire rubber. TDP is a high-quality devulcanized rubber compound that is intended to replace masterbatch material, to be used in a wide variety of applications including tires.
How is TDP different from other recycled tire rubbers?
TDP retains excellent dynamic properties. There are no additives, no devulcanization chemicals or chemical solvents used, and TDP has excellent shelf life and processability that is important in mixing.
In addition to being produced in an environmentally friendly process, TDP can be reused in tires typically in the 10-30% range. This separates it from other recycled rubbers which are typically used at lower percentages. For this, TDP received the 2018 Gold Edison Award in the Energy & Sustainability / Resource Reuse Category. In 2020, Tyromer TDP was selected #3 of European Rubber Journal’s Top 10 Elastomers for Sustainability.
Typical crumb rubber is lower quality and used in synthetic turf fields, playgrounds, molded rubber products, but is not used much in tires. Very fine crumb (MRP or Micronized Rubber Powder) is made via a cryogenic grinding process and is also used in limited amounts in tires, generally in the 5% range as a filler.
Reclaimed rubber, primarily from China and India, is made using reclaiming chemicals and chemical solvents. Because the rubber molecules are damaged in the reclaiming process, reclaimed rubber has compromised dynamic properties and cannot be used in large quantities in quality tires. Furthermore, the excessive use of chemicals does not align with the environmental sustainability mandates of socially responsible organizations.
How is TDP made?
TDP is made through a carbon dioxide-assisted thermo-mechanical continuous extrusion process. Crumb rubber, free of metal and other contamination in the size range of ~20 mesh or ~.85mm, is used as feedstock.
In TDP production, absolutely no devulcanization chemicals or chemical solvents are used. Crumb rubber is fed directly into the extruder and TDP emerges moments later. When running continuously the conversion is essentially 100% with no waste by-product. The process is also energy efficient.
The composition of TDP will mirror that of the feedstock used to create it, since no chemicals or additives are used in the production process. Tyromer’s technology will not change the chemical composition of the material. When TDP is produced from tire rubber, typically a percentage of natural rubber, synthetic rubber, and carbon black will be observed.
Does TDP come in different grades or different sets of properties?
The quality of TDP is largely affected by the quality and source of feedstock used to create it.
Tyromer has standardized TDP-B material made from truck tread, which usually has properties of about 10 MPa and 250% EB. Again, properties of TDP will largely depend on the feedstock used to create it.
Where can TDP be used?
Tyromer TDP is master batch replacement material with excellent dynamic properties, making it ideally suited for the tire industry. TDP is environmentally sustainable and cost-effective, and can be used in a wide variety of rubber applications.
Using TDP to replace master batch material at the 20% level typically provides an 8-10% material cost savings. The price of TDP can depend on volume and frequency but generally, TDP will have a guaranteed cost savings compared to standard natural rubber RSS3.
How does adding TDP into a master batch affect the overall properties? How much can be added?
The amount of TDP loaded into a master batch compound depends on the application and grade of TDP. For tire applications, TDP-B is generally used at the ~20% level. In less stringent tires such as agricultural, 30%+ can be realized. For applications such as shoes or parts molding, load levels could be 50% or even up to 100%.
Typically, adding TDP into a master batch compound can result in a slight drop in tensile strength and elongation. However in most cases, TDP also improves key performance properties in metrics such as Cut & Chip, DIN Abrasion and Hysteresis/Heat Build-up. Such as with any new raw material, TDP usage should be tested and optimized per application for best results.
How can we get help on optimization of TDP in compounds or formulas?
Tyromer has in-house rubber compounding expertise to assist and collaborate with product development. While Tyromer is not a compound development company, we have years of experience working with TDP. We have established Best Practices for compounding with TDP, and are always happy to meet with external technical or R&D teams for discussion and/or review of data.
Consistent feedstock material is the key to producing consistent TDP. All materials should be ~20-40 mesh size (<.85mm) and free of contamination such as metal or wood, and 1% or less of moisture or fiber. In some cases there may be exceptions to this specification; please discuss further with Tyromer team as needed.
Can other non-tire rubbers be devulcanized with Tyromer technology?
Yes, Tyromer technology can devulcanize a variety of sulfur-cured rubbers in addition to tire rubber. NR, EPDM, SBR, BR, IIR, factory scrap material, and others all have potential.
Does Tyromer have a product development plan for TDP?
Yes, Tyromer strives for continuous improvement in both product and technology. The Company has a robust R&D program led by Tyromer technology inventor and CTO, Professor Costas Tzoganakis of the University of Waterloo. Because TDP can be used in diverse applications, Tyromer collaborates with partners in product development to address specific requirements, both in performance and cost.
Where is TDP produced?
Tyromer produces TDP at their pilot facility in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, and at their brand new facilities in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and Arnhem, The Netherlands in Europe.
Tyromer licenses its technology, and so TDP could potentially be produced almost anywhere in the world. If TDP is required outside of North America or Europe, one of Tyromer’s licensed operations could supply this.
How can TDP be purchased?
If your company purchases raw materials for compounding, Tyromer can supply TDP directly in North America and Europe. As mentioned in the previous question, if needed elsewhere in the world one of Tyromer’s licensed operations could likely supply this TDP.
If your company purchases pre-mixed rubber compound, Tyromer can work with your compounder to incorporate TDP into your compounds. Tyromer can also suggest some trusted partners to work with regarding custom compounding needs.
What are the environmental benefits of using Tyromer TDP?
TDP is made from scrap tires, and can be used in new rubber products to enable a truly circular economy. Using TDP conserves over 90% of the energy required to make new tire material, and using just a single ton of TDP saves the Greenhouse Gas equivalent of 4 passenger cars driven for a year. TDP is environmentally sustainable because no devulcanization chemicals or chemical solvents are used in its production. Finally, scrap tire rubber can be used again for its originally intended purpose!
For this, Tyromer received a 2018 Sustainability Leadership Award from Business Intelligence Group.
TDP has been proven to work in both tread and sidewall applications in new passenger, truck, and OTR tires. The most common addition level is about 15%. For 2nd or 3rd tier products, a higher load level is expected.
In retreading, TDP is also commonly used at the 15-20% level. In OTR retreading, 20-30% addition should be possible. TDP’s high abrasion and tear resistance, along with low heat build-up/hysteresis, make it a great candidate for retreading applications. To date, over 10,000 OTR tires have been retreaded with TDP!
TDP typically performs well in conveyor applications in the 20% level. For 2nd or 3rd tier products, a higher load level of up to 40-50% can be achieved. TDP bonds well and the material has excellent processability on production equipment.
Molding applications vary widely and TDP can be used in products such as automotive parts, shoe soles, and smaller non-vehicle tires such as wagon or wheelbarrow wheels. Depending on the application and requirements, addition level could be up to 50% or in some cases TDP can even be used at 100%.
Tyromer’s recycled (devulcanized) rubber is a great fit in rubber products manufacturing. In this video, Tyromer’s Tire-Derived Polymer (TDP) is used at the 20% level to make a retread tire compound at Airboss Rubber Solutions in Kitchener, Canada.