3DPrinting.com discusses the recycling of microplastic tire particles through 3D printing.


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Innovative Solutions for Tackling Tyre Pollution

The issue of tyre pollution is one that has long been a cause for concern in environmental circles. Every year, over a million tonnes of synthetic rubber particulate from tyres find their way into the European land and seas. This has a detrimental impact on the environment and calls for urgent action.

Recognizing this problem, The Tyre Collective, a British startup, has come up with a unique solution. They have developed a car-mounted device that captures tyre wear particles, preventing them from being released into the atmosphere. While this was their initial venture, the company has now expanded into repurposing these microplastic particles into functional and decorative items.

At the recent Material Matters fair during the London Design Festival, The Tyre Collective showcased their latest collaboration with designers, 3D printing experts, and material scientists. Their partnership with Madrid-based firm Lowpoly resulted in the creation of objects, such as vases, speakers, and lamps, that were 3D printed using a blend of recycled PLA and 20% tyre particles. These unique items had a beautiful dark gray finish, giving them a distinctive aesthetic appeal.

The Queen Mary University of London Materials for Sustainability Group also played a vital role by converting the rubber into a coin battery. This process involved coating carbonized rubber slurry onto copper foil, creating a battery that could potentially be used in small electronics.

While these innovative approaches have shown promise, it is important to note that not all the materials created are recyclable. For instance, jewellery items and lamps made by mixing rubber with resin cannot be recycled. This highlights the need for further research in material science to enhance the sustainability of these initiatives.

As we make progress in material science, we can expect to see more sustainable methods for managing tyre-derived microplastics. This is particularly crucial considering the increase in the use of electric vehicles, which generate higher levels of tyre-wear particles due to their weight and torque output.

Efforts like those of The Tyre Collective and their collaborators are crucial in finding effective solutions to tackle environmental challenges. By repurposing microplastic particles into useful and aesthetically pleasing objects, they are not only reducing pollution, but also raising awareness about the issue. It is encouraging to see such innovative thinking and partnerships emerging in the fight against tyre pollution.

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Source: dezeen.com

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