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The World’s First Aerogels made from Scrap Rubber Tyres

  • Category
    Miscellaneous
  • Published
    25th Mar, 2020

A team of NUS researchers has achieved a major technological breakthrough by converting waste rubber tyres into super-light aerogels that have a wide range of applications. This is the first time that aerogels are made from waste rubber tyres

  • A team of NUS researchers has achieved a major technological breakthrough by converting waste rubber tyres into super-light aerogels that have a wide range of applications. This is the first time that aerogels are made from waste rubber tyres
  • The new rubber aerogels demonstrate remarkable properties — they are extremely light, highly absorbent, very durable, and they are also very efficient at trapping heat and sound.
  • By upcycling waste rubber into products of a higher commercial value, this new technology promotes a wider use of scrap tyres, and offers an eco-friendly way to recycle used rubber
  • This novel technology was published in the print version of scientific journal Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects in September 2019, and a patent has been filed. 
  • To create the rubber aerogels, recycled car tyre fibres are first blended into finer fibres. These fine rubber fibres are then soaked in water and very small amount of chemical cross-linkers.
  • The novel rubber aerogels created by the NUS team possess remarkable properties for many applications:
    • Extremely light and stiffer than commercial foam
    • Highly porous
    • Excellent sound absorption
    • Excellent heat insulation
    • Highly durable
    • When coated with a chemical called methoxytrimethylsilane, the rubber aerogels become extremely water-repellent and they can be used to prevent moisture from corroding or damaging insulation equipment.
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