3 The cycle: receive, recycle, implement and repeat The role of recyclate in contemporary design – considering raw materials
As far as mass is concerned, one of the largest group of waste products are used tires. Due to the constant increase of the use of such products and their long biodegradation rate, up to 100 years, old tires pose a significant risk to the environment. The Act to stop the production of petrol cars and replace them with electric ones does not solve the issue of tires, as with the growing general number of cars they are a rising threat, and we cannot be sure whether their use will not be higher in electric cars.
Today, the recyclate of used tires is usually an admixture to asphalt, for example, or mixed with polyurethane glues resins as a base for sports surfaces and playgrounds. The latter remains non-recyclable. Responsible design, accounting for reuse of materials and purposeful sustainable development of production, especially in small enterprises, constitutes the vast minority of the market.
As the FuseLab design studio, we have developed hundreds of samples of materials based on recycled plastic combined with the recyclate of used car tires and wood sawdust. Among all the researched materials, the most applicability characterises the processed recyclate of tire rubber combined with HDPE recyclate. The material presents the highest impact strength value and flexibility during compression tests. Consequently, it can be used in elements which require compression and impact resistance.
Keywords: recycling, circularity, processing, waste, public space