ANDRITZ MeWa - ANDRITZ Group

MeWa supplies recycling line for scrap tyres to South Korea

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Source: ANDRITZ MeWa - ANDRITZ Group

Tyre wire cleaner recycles steel tyre cord
The South Korean company Anothen WTE (waste to energy) is involved in the entire rubber raw material cycle, from the manufacture of new tyres to recycling used ones. MeWa Recycling Maschinen und Anlagenbau GmbH, based in Gechingen/Germany, has now supplied a new shredding line for scrap tyres to the company's facility in Geumsan. The UNI-CUT SP tyre wire cleaner even strips practically all the steel cord out of the tyre bead and recovers it in a very clean condition.

The site in Geumsan, South Korea, places Anothen WTE in direct proximity to their partner company, which produces moulding bladders for the tyre industry. The flexible bladders are required in the vulcanisation process of an international tyre manufacturer in South Korea. They press the tyre into the hot mould from the inside.

While, in part of the extensive site, the stage is set for producing new tyres, scrap tyres are arriving for recycling at another production hall. German recycling equipment specialist MeWa Recycling Maschinen und Anlagenbau GmbH installed a new recycling line in Geumsan in January 2011 for this purpose, which for the first time in Asia, incorporates a process that can even recycle all the steel cord from the tyre beads to a high quality standard.

The used tyres are first pre-shredded before being fed into the MeWa UG 1600 granulator. This powerful machine grinds up around two tonnes of shredded tyres an hour into granules less than 20 mm in size. Anothen WTE then feeds the granulated rubber directly into its own pyrolysis plant.

However, ten to twenty per cent of the weight of a used car tyre is made up of steel. It is in the form of wire cord embedded in the bead of the tyre and cannot be processed by pyrolysis. Therefore, a magnet above the conveyor belt removes the steel cord from the process as it is conveyed from the granulator. The steel is in a very 'impure' condition at that point, however. As much as 35 percent of its weight is still made up of rubber and fabric adhering to the wire cord. Suitable neither for pyrolysis nor for recycling at a steelworks, this mixture of materials had represented an unsolved problem for Anothen WTE.

In search of a suitable technology, the South Korean rubber recycler found what it was looking for in Germany's economic region around Stuttgart. Over the past two years, recycling equipment specialist MeWa in Gechingen has set about tackling the problem of the contaminated steel cord and developed the UNI-CUT SP tyre wire cleaner, a special machine capable of almost completely separating rubber residues from the wires.

The tyre wire cleaner combines the advantages of a low-wear mill with the dynamic properties of a granulator. Without using delicate blades, the machine strips the rubber off the steel cord by rubbing it against the stator shaft, thereby separating out the individual fractions.

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