By Jessica Holbrook, Crain News Service
CHICAGO (Dec. 10, 2012) — CTC Plastics is teaming up with materials company Lehigh Technologies Inc. to give new life to old tires.
CTC, based in Dayton, Ohio, is offering a resin compound, Xpro Rubber Batch, which contains micronized rubber powder. Lehigh makes the powder from discarded and unusable tires.
CTC uses the masterbatch—a 50-50 mix of powder and polypropylene—to manufacture pallets from 100-percent recycled material.
The company said the pallets have the same performance and quality as ones made from virgin material but cost less and offer a reduced carbon footprint.
The pallets are also a great recycling story, said John Dennis, chief operating officer, in a phone interview.
"Rubber tires are probably one of the worst [pollutants] in the continent," he said.
CTC uses end-of-life tires in its masterbatch, which is made into pallets that CTC sells back to tire and automotive companies, offering customers a closed-loop solution, he said.
"We're very proud of it. We think it's a good way to get rid of that violator," he said.
The company also sells the masterbatch to its customers, who can use it to make industrial packaging like totes or garbage cans, Mr. Dennis said.
"It's cool because it allows other injection molders to do things that we might not do."
CTC announced the partnership with Lehigh at Pack Expo 2012, held Oct. 28-31 in Chicago.
The company has since had a lot of enquiries about the pallets and material, Mr. Dennis said, adding that the project is still in the ramp-up stage.
Per customer demand, CTC is also looking into making a compound with polyethylene, which would allow the masterbatch to be used in different products, he said.
CTC makes pallets and custom products from recycled materials using injection and compression molding. The company, which also compounds its own materials, is a subsidiary of Soin International L.L.C., a global holding company also based in Dayton.
Tucker, Ga.-based Lehigh's micronized rubber powders are used in a variety of consumer and industrial applications.
This report appeared in Plastics News, an Akron-based companion publication of Tire Business.