RIEG meeting on Sustainable Fillers in Rubber
Organised by the Rubber in Engineering Group
An afternoon technical meeting to discuss the sustainable future for additives and fillers in rubber.
Godfrey Short (RockTron Ltd) - The use of beneficated pulverised fuel ash (PFA) derived from coal fired power stations as a filler for rubbers and plastics.
Waste residue from coal fired power stations has not been adopted yet as a filler, due to agglomeration of several randomly mixed constituents such as Ceno-spheres, Carbon, Spherical Magnetite and Solid Alumino Silicate Glass spheres. RockTron have developed processes to Beneficiate PFA, separating it into its constituent parts for use as value added fillers in Rubbers and Plastics. Products from this RockTron process have been trialled in various Rubbers and Plastics with promising results, and are seen as an eco friendly, cost effective replacement for inorganic fillers used in extrusion and moulding grades of elastomers.
Jane Clark (University of Loughborough) - Biopolymers as sustainable fillers for elastomers
One approach to increasing sustainability of fillers in elastomers is to use biopolymers as they come from a renewable resource. Biopolymers such as starch and protein are hard materials which can potentially act as fillers. However, the twin problems of particle size and surface energy must be addressed in order for these to perform as reinforcing, rather than just extending fillers. Methods of particles size reduction and increasing the interaction between the elastomer and biopolymer filler will be discussed.
Martyn Bennett (ARTIS) and Keith Hall (Crumb Rubber Ltd) - Use of crumb rubber in the polymer industry
Rubber powder in both elastomers and thermoplastic polymers can provide a lower density replacement for mineral fillers. The ability to derive the rubber powder from post consumer tyres is beneficial to both industry and society alike, but in many cases there are other advantages to be gained, some of them surprising. This allows the rubber powder to be considered a dynamic filler; a cost effective additive that can have a positive influence on specific characteristics of the material. The key considerations of purity, consistency and processing will be discussed.
Ton Peijs and Emiliano Bilotti (Queen Mary, University of London) - Sustainable fillers for the polymer industry.
Nanofillers have attracted a great deal of attention over the last two decades. Outstanding improvements in physical properties of polymeric matrices (e.g. stiffness, strength, heat distortion temperature, reduced permeability to gas and liquids, fire retardancy), can be expected with only few weight percents of nanofiller. The minute amounts of filler involved (especially when bio-sourced), promise to improve the recyclability/sustainability of polymer composites. Several nanocomposite systems, based on cellulose whiskers, nanoclays and carbon nanotubes, will be reviewed.
4:15 Tea & Discussion