[Article from ScrapBook Spring 2011]
For many years there has been heavy activity in the United Arab Emirates – particularly within construction and related industries. Most have heard about the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa; the world’s most expensive airport, Dubai World Central International Airport and the three largest artificial islands in the world, Palm Islands. The world’s largest shopping mall is also located here. These investments attract people to the region, and the population has increased from approximately 2.4 millions in 1995 to 5.6 millions in 2009. The fast expansion of this region and its population has generated large amounts of waste – in particular used tyres.
In the beginning of the 2000’s the Ghantoot Group began to investigate the market for “raw material” in the United Arab Emirates. How many end of life tyres were available? Was there a market for recycled (size reduced and separated) end of life tyres – i.e. shreds, chips, granulates or powder? Which recycling equipment is available on the market? The market studies turned out very positive, and it was clear that there indeed were many end of life tyres available, and also an interested market for the recycled products. There was a strong demand for granulate with a high standard of uniform quality and purity. From this study Sharjah National Crumb Rubber Industries was founded.
Sharjah National Crumb Rubber Industries wanted to be able to process different kinds of tyres, including car and truck, without de-beading and at a high capacity. They also wanted to be able to produce different size of output material. They were looking for strong, reliable technology to produce the best quality products for a long time.
Complete Eldan Tyre Recycling Solution
The final selection of supplier of the equipment was Eldan Recycling. “Eldan has extensive experience, and they were a strong partner from the start. Eldan has been present within the recycling industry for more than 50 years, and delivered and installed its first tyre recycling plant in 1991. As a total they have delivered 150 tyre recycling plants, which of course has given them the experience we needed” says Tariq Al Mansori, General Manager at Sharjah National Crumb Rubber Industries.
In 2004 Sharjah National Crumb Rubber Industries acquired an Eldan turn-key tyre recycling plant (E4000T) with a capacity up to 4 tons per production hour. The E4000T plant is designed for recycling of complete truck and car tyres, including super singles and tractor tyres, to a high quality rubber granulate of various sizes. The output material is 99.9% free of liberated steel wire and textile. The dimensions of the input tyres can be maximum diameter of 1200 mm and maximum width of 450 mm. De-beading of the tyres is not required. The plant includes a Super Chopper (SC1412T), a Tumble Back Feeder, a Multi Purpose Rasper (MPR160), a Silo V4), two Fine Granulators (FG1504 and FG1504) and an Aspirator (UP1750).
The Super Chopper (SC1412T) is a powerful low-speed pre-chopper used for pre-chopping of the input material – partly to size reduce the input and partly to increase the capacity of the recycling plant. It processes complete car and truck tyres (including super singles) down to shreds size (approx. 50-300mm).
The Tumble Back Feeder (TBF) ensures a continuous flow into the Multi Purpose Rasper - thus ensuring an optimum load/utilization of the machine. The Multi Purpose Rasper (MPR160) is the first granulation stage which means that it reduces the Super Chopper shred input (50-300 mm) down to 12 mm in one single pass. Up to 98% of the steel is removed. The chips are then used as for example TDF (Tyre Derived Fuel) or continues to be further processed in the granulation plant. This machine is an effective Rasper designed for tyre recycling. The machine is equipped with exchangeable screens and the output size will be determined by the actual screen size installed in the machine. It ensures individual size reduction down to approx. 12 mm chips and liberation up to 98% of the steel content.
The Silo (V4) ensures continuous flow through the first Fine Granulator and ensures achieving optimum capacity. The Fine Granulators ensures fine granulation of the rubber granulate. These machines are also equipped with exchangeable screens with different hole sizes to determine the actual output size – if you want a different output size, just change the screen. The first Fine Granulator (FG1504) is used for the first granulation stage enabling liberation of up to 50% of the textile contained in the tyres. The liberated textile is then removed in the Classifier (PC10). The Second Fine-Granulator 2 (FG1504) is used for the second and final granulation stage. If there still is any textile or steel left in the material it is liberated here.
The steel is removed by magnets, and the remaining textile is removed by the Classifier (PC15) which removes 40% of the textile. The Classifier (PC15) consists of two layers of screens with bottom trays arranged in a vertical stack - the upper screens having holes and the bottom trays having no holes. The material is fed to the machine at the inlet, where the feed roller distributes the material onto the screen layers. The material is divided with 50% on each of the two screen layers. In operation, the screens are oscillating, causing the granules to settle on the two levels depending on the actual size of the material. The rubber granules will land on the bottom tray through vibration, while the textile remains on the upper screen layers. Bouncing rubber balls will effectively keep the screens from clogging. The screens themselves can be changed very easily for processing different sizes of rubber granulate. The Aspirator (UP1750) ensures the final size distribution of the granulate and removes the remaining, liberated textile providing a high quality rubber granulate with a purity of up to 99.9%.
Currently the tyre recycling plant at Sharjah National Crumb Rubber Industries produce 25 ton of rubber granulates per production day. They mostly produce rubber powder which has been very well recieved by their customers. The output material has also been approved by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) for their projects in the region. The approval of FIFA is very interesting since rubber granulate is used in artificial grass at soccer fields.
Pioneers Within Tyre Recycling In The Region
The tyre plant at Sharjah National Crumb Rubber Industries was the first tyre recycling plant in the United Arab Emirates. After processing tyres for more than six years in the hot and humid Gulf region it is still processing the tyres perfectly. “We saw the opportunity for recycling of tyres before anyone else in the region. Our plant is also the only tyre plant still running today” says Tariq.
Although there was no tyre recycling plants in the region, there were many manufacturers looking to deliver to the area. After a thorough market analysis Sharjah National Crumb Rubber Industries decided to chose Eldan equipment. “There were two main reasons for us choosing to use Eldan equipment for our tyre recycling plant. First, they manufacture long-life strong machines, that can handle recycling of tyres without de-beading. Not de-beading the tyres saves us a lot of time and money” says Tariq. “Second, not only having the capability to meet the demands for uniform quality and purity is important, but also the flexibility in the plant being able to change the production from one fraction size to another is important. We are producing to the customer’s order as we do not have any production of end-product ourselves. A multi-size plant was the right solution for us since we have the flexibility to meet the customers’ range of different demands.” Unlike other recycling areas there is not only one output material which is the best suited one, instead it depends on what the customers wish to use it for.
Used tyres are among the largest and most problematic sources of waste today, due to the large volume produced and their durability. Those same characteristics which make end of life tyres such a large problem also make them one of the most re-used waste materials. As the rubber is very resilient, it can be reused in other products. The materials that are the outcome of tyre recycling have many benefits (as the flexibility, strength and combustibility). Entire or shredded tyres can be used for coastal protection projects and reinforcing embankments alongside roads. Because of its noise reducing benefits it is also useful on rail and tram tracks to reduce noise and vibrations. Another popular application for the rubber is in shoe soles, shock absorbers and shock absorbing mats. Applications for powdered rubber are for example wheels (for dustbins, wheelbarrows, lawn mowers), artificial floors covering for sports arenas, flooring for stables and other protective floor (for schools, playgrounds etc) and rubber modified asphalt for road surfing (added for enhancing longevity and noise reducing).
Taking care of the equipment is vital when making a large investment like acquiring an entire tyre recycling plant. “ Tariq understands the importance of maintenance, and it is a true joy to visit the plant at Sharjah National Crumb Rubber Industries” says Jan Kjær, product manager at Eldan.
The support of the Eldan representative in the region, Rajesh Sivarajan at Ferrostaal, is warmly appreciated by Tariq: “In technical matters I am in contact directly with the product manager Jan Kjær at Eldan, who has always given me great support and the local backing of Rajesh is invaluable. He is just a phone call away which is essential when maintaining the plant.”
“...Eldan manufacture long-life strong machines, that can handle recycling of tires without de-beading” Tariq Al Mansori, General Manager at Sharjah National Crumb Rubber Industries
Jan has been involved with the project from the beginning: “The highly professional customers pay more and more attention to the fact that the supplier has a good reputation within the industry. It is important that manufacturer give good service after the purchase – i.e. can supply spare and wear parts and give advice or answer additional questions which the customer might have. Naturally the three important consumption rates are highly important - the power consumption per produced ton, the time consumption for a knife change and the time consumption for knife adjustment.”
According to Tariq, Eldan has a good reputation in the region;
“I have only heard good things about Eldan – from competitors of Eldan as well as from companies who purchase the material coming out of their equipment. It is high quality machinery producing a high quality material.”