WASHINGTON-A rubber recycling firm, a cryogenic grinding company and a supplier of industrial gases have joined forces to develop a scrap rubber processing facility in Canada. Custom Cryogenic Grinding Corp., Simcoe, Ontario, will build a facility in Simcoe to devulcanize and grind rubber manufacturers' factory scrap that otherwise would be burned or buried.
CCGC, the largest cryogenic grinder in North America, said it will start the operations this September with an initial capacity of 5 million pounds annually. It plans to increase capacity to more than 10 million pounds by the end of 1996.
STI-K Polymers America Inc., owner of the patented ``DeVulc'' process for devulcanizing natural and synthetic rubber, will be CCGC's partner in the project, and provide its technology and``DeLink'' chemical devulcanizing compound to the company.
In addition, Praxair, a worldwide producer of industrial gases and CCGC's liquid nitrogen supplier, has given CCGC an undisclosed sum to finance the project.
CCGC and STI-K will collaborate on contacting current and potential CCGC customers to promote the factory scrap recycling plan. Also, STI-K will provide marketing support and industrial applications research.
The project began with meetings between STI-K and Praxair, according to CCGC President Dan Heffernan. Praxair brought STI-K and CCGC together, Mr. Heffernan said, and within less than two months of their first meeting, they were ready to announce the joint venture.
All three companies extolled the venture as a unique business opportunity, as well as a boon to rubber manufacturers.
The agreement with CCGC is an important expansion of STI-K's marketing strategy, according to STI-K President Frederic W. Siesseger. The company's first joint venture was formed with Baker Rubber Co., the South Bend, Ind.-based crumb rubber producer. That project, also slated to go on-line in September, involves devulcanizing scrap tire rubber.
``The second part of our strategy is to implement our `Waste-Free Factory' program,'' he said. ``We will take scrap from individual companies, grind it, devulcanize it and send it back. Instead of something they have to burn or bury, the companies have a valuable compound they can put back in their finished products for a very low cost.''
There are 170,000 tons of scrap in the non-tire rubber sector alone, and the Waste-Free Factory program could easily eliminate it all, Mr. Siesseger said.
Companies interested in the program have great freedom in deciding what they want to do, Mr. Siesseger said. ``We sell DeLink directly to companies that want to do their own devulcanization,'' he said. ``CCGC will grind their devulcanized scrap for them, if that's how they want it. But if they don't have the facilities to do their own devulcanization, they can devulcanize and grind their scrap cheaply at CCGC.''