Austin Rubber Company LLC ("Austin Rubber") manufactures a virgin rubber compound substitute, APX™, using a patented process.
The system converts recycled tires and other scrap rubber compounds into a less expensive substitute for virgin rubber compound,
which can be used in a variety of new products.
Austin Rubber was founded as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Green Source Holdings LLC ("GSH") to produce APX™ using GSH's patented
Fan™ process. The Company's headquarters are in Austin, Texas, with offices in Manhattan, Kansas. Austin Rubber's first commercial
scale plant will be built in the Northeastern United States and is targeted for completion in late 2014.
Austin Rubber will provide APX™ for a variety of customers, including manufacturers of footwear, tires and other molded rubber
products. The Company's recycled rubber provides customers with both a significant cost savings over the volatile market price of
polymers and an environmentally sustainable, "green" aspect to their product.
Solving a Global Environmental Problem
Rubber from used tires and from other industrial and consumer uses is a global waste management problem due to the inability to recycle
the rubber in an environmentally sustainable process. In 2011, 154 million (50% of total) End of Life (EOL) tires from North America
(U.S. and Canada) were consumed in the tire derived fuel markets. An opportunity exists for a technology that provides a value-added
alternative to the incineration of scrap tires.
When rubber is mixed and compounded for products such as tires, footwear and technical automotive components, the rubber compound is
typically vulcanized by adding sulfur and heat. The vulcanization process forms crosslinks between the polymer chains and sulfur,
thereby making the product more durable. Once rubber is vulcanized, it must be devulcanized, i.e., the sulfur bonds must be broken,
in order to effectively recycle and reuse it in higher-value products at increased load levels. Austin Rubber's process effectively
devulcanizes scrap rubber to make APX™, which can be used as a substitute for virgin rubber in many rubber molded products.
Austin Rubber believes that demand for devulcanized recycled rubber will grow due to a combination of supply and demand pressures for
natural and synthetic polymers. This increased demand mixed with supply constraints have led to significant pricing volatility which
is problematic for rubber product manufacturers.
Austin Rubber uses its patented process to produce a material that solves a global environmental waste problem and fills a growing
commercial need at the same time.
The system uses a proprietary reagent, which has a chemical reaction when mixed with crumb rubber (recycled rubber that has been ground
to a powder) such that it cleaves the sulfur-carbon crosslinks. The process devulcanizes the rubber, allowing it to be used more effectively
in a variety of new rubber-based compounds as a less expensive substitute for virgin natural and synthetic polymer compounds. The process
does not degrade the structure of the polymer backbone the way many other technologies do and can, therefore, be used as a substitute in
higher value products. The recycled material used is usually from scrap tires because that is the main feedstock available, but the technology
will work with all types of sulfur vulcanized compounds. The process is environmentally and economically sustainable; for example, the process
utilizes chemicals that are low in toxicity and requires less energy because it works at low temperatures.
Benefits of APX™
Austin Rubber offers customers the following benefits:
- Lower cost substitute for virgin natural and synthetic rubber compounds;
- Reduce manufacturers' exposure to virgin rubber price volatility;
- Achieve high levels of recycled rubber content (50%+);
- Maintain key physical and dynamic properties, including performance measures such as abrasion resistance, tear strength, elongation and
coefficient of friction (slip resistance);
- Improvement in processing and handling during mixing and molding (i.e. reduced cure times); and
- Provide marketing benefits as a "green" recycled product.
For more information on Austin Rubber's APX™ product, please contact Don Drew at
512-904-0152 or click here.