(164aa) Development of a Rubber Recycling Process Based on a Single Component Interfacial Adhesive
AIChE Annual Meeting
Monday, November 8, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Here, a simple and cost-effective adhesive-based rubber recycling process was designed as an alternative to devulcanization. Interfacial bonding between vulcanized and virgin rubber was improved by incorporating novel adhesives and coating processes during rubber re-blending, reducing interfacial defects that cause premature failure. In flat laminates, bond strength between vulcanized and virgin material doubled when a vulcanizing fluid and thin adhesive layer were introduced. These components were combined into single-component adhesives (SCAs), which improved bond strength six-fold over no treatment, using half the raw material as the multi-layer adhesive. When SCAs were coated onto vulcanized rubber particles prior to re-blending, the best rubbers exhibited nearly 50% increases in mechanical strength and toughness versus the untreated control, with no loss in extensibility; all treatments improved mechanical strength. This simple, inexpensive, and scalable process can be implemented with one step beyond standard re-blending and curing, providing a promising alternative to devulcanization for polymer recycling.