RubWPC extrusion process is able to carry out a continuing mass production with various geometries and dimensions of composites. The continuing extrusion of RubWPC by fusing rubber with wood and plastic is a new attempt. The success of this production will provide significant opportunity for high volume consumption of the used tyre and such eliminate the burden for the disposal of the used tyre waste. Incorporation of recycled rubber will change mechanical properties by improving wear resistance of exposed surfaces, impact, thermal and vibration damping properties. Functional properties like traction are improved and are controllable by ratio and/or size of the rubber exposed at the surface of composite element. RubWPC can be used as ordinary WPCs and, in addition, it can be used when a specific characteristic is required (e.g. nursing house for a slip resistant surface, studio for improved acoustic effect, etc.).Wood plastic composite (WPC) is composed of wood (virgin or waste) or other cellulose-based fibre fillers such as pulp fibres, peanut hulls, bamboo and straw, and virgin or waste plastics. The most widespread use of WPCs is in outdoor deck floors, but it is also used for railings, fences, landscaping timbers, cladding and siding, park benches, molding and trim, window and door frames, and indoor furniture. The project proposes the incorporation of used tyre rubber as raw materials for the production of WPCs, in order to attain a new type of rubber wood plastic composite (RubWPC). This is an entirely new concept and the resulted products have many additional properties beyond the existing WPCs. Processing of RubWPC will be based on the modified extrusion process of the existing classical WPCs by incorporating specific thermal process, blending and feeding of rubber crumb and/or granulate, and developing additives for improving interfaces among all the raw material constituents.
Four possible building product ranges for which there is no construction market equivalent to RubWPC currently available were identified:
(1) flooring, pavement or other surface areas where slip resistance is required;
(2) rail or other sense surface, such as guide rail or arch for blind people;
(3) areas requiring high impact performance;
(4) acoustic bodies.
The project also includes the certification of RubWPC. The attempt of certification process will ensure that the developed RubWPC is readily transferrable and market uptake. The health and safety hazards for RubWPC along with fire performance will be verified in the programme, especially through product certification.