“Turn old tires into new ones” – SRI featured in TheStar

SRI has been featured in The Star, Malaysia’s largest newspaper.

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In 2004, Sekhar Research Innovations (SRI) was founded by local rubber technology legend, the late Tan Sri Dr B.C. Sekhar. When he passed on in 2006, his son, Gopinath B. Sekhar took over the company, focusing on developing a process that enables the reuse of materials from scrap tyres.

The breakthrough for SRI came after five years of endeavour when they successfully created the “SRI compound”. Recycled from tyres and waste rubber, the compound can be used to make new tyres, retread old ones or make automotive parts.

The process of creating the compound begins with cutting and grinding up scrap tyres into crumb rubber. The crumb rubber is then put through the SRI Activation Process to create premium rubber which can be used in a range of products once it is mixed in with the manufacturer’s virgin compound.

Sekhar uses the analogy of cake baking to describe the process: “A scrap tyre is like a baked cake. Eggs, flour, sugar and other ingredients are used to make the cake batter. Once baked, it is impossible to turn the cake back into batter because the properties of the ingredients have changed.

“It is the same in rubber product manufacturing where natural rubber, synthetic rubber, carbon black, chemicals and sulphur are mixed together into a compound. The compound is put in a mould and the mould is heated up for a specified amount of time at a specified temperature to vulcanise it into a finished product. This finished product material cannot be reverted back to the compound it initially was.”

But what if there is a method to convert the cake into batter? This method is what the people at SRI have developed.

Continue reading at TheStar online

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