New machine processes steel wire from tyre recycling

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Source: ANDRITZ MeWa GmbH

Tyre wire cleaner made by MeWa separates steel and rubber. Around 3.5 million old tyres are returned for recycling every year in the European Union. A large proportion of these tyres are used to make rubber granulates. However, tyres also contain a substantial amount of steel wire. For this content, MeWa Recycling Maschinen und Anlagenbau GmbH from Gechingen has now developed the UNI-CUT® SP tyre wire cleaner. This special machine removes textile and rubber residues from the steel wires, fully recovering the metal in the highest quality.

Modern tyre recycling plants fully process passenger car and truck tyres. In the meantime, this process has become state of the art. It is considerably more economical to separate the steel content in the course of the processing with automatic separation technology.

After all, 10% - 20% of the weight of an old passenger car tyre usually consists of steel. It is included in the form of wires. In order to protect the machines in the downstream process steps against excessive wear, an attempt is made to remove the wire from the process at as early a stage as possible. Pre-shredding is usually followed by a first granulation stage in which, depending on the configuration of the plant, a granulate of 15 to 30 millimetres in size is created. Directly after this granulation, a metal separation system draws a high proportion of the steel wire from the flow of material.

This fraction, however, is in a very unclean state at this point. Along with the wires, around 10 to 35 percentage by weight of rubber and textiles is also withdrawn. This proportion is too high for use in a steel smelter. MeWa has now specifically devoted its attention to this fraction. With the newly developed UNI-CUT® SP tyre wire cleaner, the recycling specialist from Gechingen succeeds in almost completely separating rubber residues from the wires. The machine uses a combination of shear and pressing forces to break up the material compound.

The steel cleaner combines the advantages of a low-wear mill with the dynamic properties of a granulator. Equipped without sensitive blades, the tools mounted on the rotor shaft rub the rubber and steel mixture on the stator shaft of the machine against one another, thus exposing the individual fractions.

The machine is offered as a complete process solution with feed and extraction conveying as well as connected separation technology. Specially configured vibration channels and magnets separate the exposed wire, textile and rubber fractions. The entire separation plant is encapsulated. This enables exposed textiles to be blown out via air separation devices and captured in a filter. The turnkey MeWa line is also equipped with its own control system.

The tyre wire cleaner is configured for a throughput of around 1 metric tonne per hour. At the end, the wire emerges with a purity of greater than 98% in a quality that can be used in steel smelter. The rubber can then be returned to the tyre processing line, where in other steps the remaining textile residues are removed and the rubber is processed to create a granulate or fine rubber powder.

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