Tag Archive for 'recycling'

“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

Tire Recycling Breakthrough, The Edge

SRI’s CEO, Gopi Sekhar was recently interviewed by Karamjit Singh of The Edge, a financial and investment weekly publication here in Malaysia. The following is an excerpt.

One of the biggest environmental problems plaguing the world is the estimated one billion tyres lying in dumps around the world. The tyres cannot be easily disposed of or recycled and lie in massive dumps — some up to six football fields deep — leaking chemicals into the ground. Some catch fire spectacularly. These fires do not burn out easily. YouTube has videos showing tyre dumps on fire, spewing out thick black smoke and flames. The fires will last for days, the smoke for years. One tyre dumpsite was simmering deep in its bowels, releasing smoke for five incredible years.

“It is a common occurrence,” says Gopi Sekhar, CEO of SRI, who nonetheless believes he has found the solution to the rising mountains of discarded tyres around the world. He and his research team have created a compound which goes into making retread tires. More importantly, a light tyre for trucks, which was made with more than 14% recycled rubber, has been independently validated and tested by the Rubber Research Institute (RRI) of the Malaysian Rubber Board. The RRI noted that the performance of the tyre made by SRI was even better than that of a tyre made of virgin rubber.

An ecstatic Gopi welcomes the RRI validation. “What we have here is nothing less than the solution to the global tyre and rubber scrap problem. It will address not only the annual accumulation [of tyres] but also the backlog in the landfills. The introduction of SRI Compound Masterbatch as an industrial raw material effectively means cost-effective value-added consumption, which will make it irresistible as a green raw material. We believe that this is the future of global rubber recycling,” he says.

The rest of the article can be read at The Edge




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