Processing Floor Coverings from Rubber Crumb
Rubber crumb is delivered from the tire recycling company to the floor covering manufacturer in 2000 lb canvas bags. Here, it undergoes processing into various components used in floor covering manufacture.
Various carpet manufacturers are involved in developing techniques to produce carpets resembling conventional nylon or wool pile carpets from rubber crumb.
However, currently there are only smooth rubber carpets available and examples are shown at the end of this article.
The rubber crumb is processed to produce smooth rubber carpets on rolls. These can have a soft or hard backing, and are usually stuck to the floor using special glue. They can also be laid atop of underlay if increased insulation qualities and resilience is required.
Rubber carpets are slip-resistant and can be used in many applications such as kitchens, bathrooms, entrance ways, offices and hospital wards where durability and non-slip properties are required.
Carpet tiles are also produced from the rubber crumb, in various colors, sizes and in smooth or piled finish, with a slip-resistant rubber also processed from crumb.
These are easily fitted to the floors of any room in the house and have the advantage over carpet in that a single tile can be replaced if damaged, rather than changing a complete carpet.
I have shown some examples of carpet tiles produced from 100% recycled tires in the end section.
Foam rubber is also produced in rolls being used to manufacture duracushion (carpet underlay) in various densities to suit different applications. This underlay is superior to the convention synthetic foam rubber underlay, having better insulation and support properties, along with increased compression resistance and durability.
Some rubber components smell like the inside of a tire supply store, but the rubber vulcanization process used in domestic floor coverings to eliminate any hazardous elements also reduce rubber smells.
In the final process, floor coverings are sealed with urethane to promote durability and stain resistance as well ensuring that there are no rubber aromas in the finished product.