A recycled rubber bollard increases road safety in case of accident
The research institutes AIMPLAS and IBV adapted the current industrial rubber recycling process to supply eco-innovative recycled rubber urban furniture products safer tan steel in case of cycle or pedestrian accident.
The Instituto Tecnológico del Plástico (AIMPLAS) and the Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia (IBV) have developed the first recycled rubber bollard through an eco-innovative process as a result of the European project ECO-RUBBER.
This initiative, including the Spanish enterprise Berlá and Recipneu-Tyre Recycling National Enterprise from Portugal, adapted the current industrial rubber recycling process to supply eco-innovative recycled rubber urban furniture products safer tan steel in case of cycle or pedestrian accident.
Minor injuries for cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians
In assessing the recycled rubber bollard by impact tests, the index has been determined HCI (Head Injury Criteria) This index measures the level of risk of injury to the head, so that an index of HCI above 1000 indicates one-sixth of the population may suffer life-threatening injuries. The results have allowed to verify that in case of accident, the bollard made of the sintering process, including a 89% recycled rubber material, is 4 times safer (HCI index equal to 305) than that of steel (HCI index 1211) in addition, this bollard recycled rubber is more flexible, so it produces less friction on vehicles and minimizes scratching.
To eliminate the emotional barriers which stem from the use of urban furniture made of recycled rubber, an eco-label will be placed on the bollard, showing the benefits of the use of this kind of recycled material.
Crumb recycled rubber as a raw material for new urban furniture products
Every year, more than 3.2 million tons of used tyres are generated in Europe. There are significant adverse environmental impacts from landfilling tyres: apart from taking up a disproportionate amount of valuable landfill space, it can be a breeding ground for vermin, a source of contaminated leachate, and a considerable fire hazard causing major environmental impacts, including effects on air, water, and soil quality. Consequently, the European Union has banned landfilling of whole tyres since 2003 and shredded tyres since 2006 (EC Directive 1999/31) giving way to a new end-of-use-tyre management.
Nowadays, horse arenas for dressage, animal pens, and fillers for sports equipment are among the applications that are made from recycled tyre crumb rubber chips. Crumb recycled rubber is also used together with binders to manufacture children’s flooring to provide protection in playgrounds. Up to 20% of binders (adhesives), generally polyurethane prepolymers that react with diisocyanates, are added for manufacturing agglomerated rubber products. Other ingredients (fillers) such as carbon black, softeners and surfactants are used to stiffen or strengthen the rubber, to improve the workability of the material and to enhance some properties such as UV or fire resistance. The use of chemicals may prevent further recycling and may cause problems in some applications when these products are used (as in the case of coming into contact with children )
ECO‐RUBBER “Innovative used tyres recycling and rubber sintering process for eco-friendly urban equipment fabrication” is a CIP Eco-innovation Pilot and market replication project. (ECO/08/239112/SI2.535300). The project has a total duration of 36 months (from July 2009 to December 2011).
Located in the Spanish city of Valencia, AIMPLAS is a Centre for Innovation and Technology (CIT) recognised by the Spanish Interministerial Committee of Science and Technology.
Founded in 1990 as a non-profit research association at national and international level, it belongs both to the Network of Technological Institutes of the Valencian Region (REDIT) and to the Spanish Federation of Technological Institutes (FEDIT). It is also an active member of other international networks, such as SUSCOMPNET, EuCIA, AESICOM and IBEROCIT.
About Instituto de Biomecánica:
The Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia (IBV – Biomechanics Institute of Valencia) is a technological centre that studies the behavior of the human body and its interaction with products, environments and services. Founded in 1976, the Institute is currently coordinated under the agreement of the Valencian Institute for Small and Medium Industry (IMPIVA) and the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV).
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