Researcher revolutionizes rubber recycling

February 28, 2011

Scrap rubber has remained little more than, well, scrap -- until now. University of Akron researcher Dr. Avraam Isayev developed an innovative rubber recovery technology expected to cause a major shift in rubber reprocessing for industrial use.

Isayev, a distinguished professor of polymer engineering, and his student research team invented a unique processing method using a novel technique, ultrasonic devulcanization. Isayev’s patented innovation allows for the recovery of rubber materials, which has been difficult, if not impossible, due to rubber’s vulcanized, or crosslinked, nature. Think scrap-tire heap. Isayev's technology enables devulcanization, or breaking, of the sulfur crosslink bonds in the rubber compound, permitting the once scrap material to be reprocessed and reused.

The video will load shortly

"Extensive experimental and theoretical studies were conducted based on this and otherrelated inventions,” says Isayev, noting that more than 50 articles and book chapters were published during the last 15 years to develop this technology. The National Science Foundation, NASA and a number of industrial companies funded the studies.

Isayev founded Avraam Corp. to develop an industrial ultrasonic extruder to carry out the process of recovering rubber from tires, roofing materials, shoe soles and other industrially significant products. World leading athletic shoe supplier Nike Inc. funded the research.

Isayev’s cutting-edge research is gaining attention. NorTech, a regional nonprofit technology-based economic development organization and catalyst for growing Northeast Ohio’s emerging technology industries, selected the development as a winner of its 2011 Advanced Materials Innovation Award Feb. 24.

Explore further: Scrap tires can be used to filter wastewater

Related Stories

Scrap tires can be used to filter wastewater

November 17, 2006

Every year, the United State produces millions of scrap tires that clog landfills and become breeding areas for pests. Finding adequate uses for castoff tires is a continuing challenge and illegal dumping has become a serious ...

New Foot-Friendly Pavement for Jogging Trails Recycles Tires

May 23, 2006

A new material for paving recreation trails holds potential for the large-scale recycling of rubber from automotive tires, as well as for cushioning the activities of joggers, walkers, and bicyclers. And it's less expensive ...

Washington has new bounce in its step

July 3, 2006

Pedestrians in a section of the nation's capital may notice a new bounce in their step as Washington experiments with rubber sidewalks.

Dandelion rubber

September 10, 2009

Most natural rubber comes from rubber trees in Southeast Asia, but this source is now under threat from a fungus. Researchers have optimized the Russian dandelion to make it suitable for large-scale rubber production.

Recommended for you

A composite thread that varies in rigidity

October 27, 2016

EPFL scientists have developed a new type of composite thread that varies in stiffness depending on its temperature. Applications range from multifunctional robots to knitted casts, and even tunable medical devices.

Turning CO2 to stone

October 25, 2016

Earth has limits to the amount of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere before the environment as we know it starts to change. Too much CO2 absorbed by the oceans makes the water more acidic. Too much in the atmosphere warms the ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.