Select Page

Retreads boost circular economy

Retreads boost circular economy

By TA News Bureau:

Sustainability and green mobility are keys to reduce the carbon footprint and cut greenhouse gases that cause global warming. Unlike the current system of linear economy whose focus is ‘take-make-dispose extractive’ industrial model, a circular economy aims to redefine growth by gradual decoupling of economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, and designing waste out of the system. This is achieved through resource conservation, ruse and remanufacturing. The best example of this is retreading of tyres as it extends their life and delays their disposal in landfill. It is noted that the world has far exceeded the Earth’s capacity to sustain the current levels of resource consumption. Retreading will give a boost to initiatives for circular economy. As retreaded tyres deliver performance similar to new ones, this is a course that we should follow diligently, says Dr SN Chakravarty in an interview to Tyre Asia

Commercial tyre retreading provides an economical means of extending the asset utilization of worn-out tyres, says Dr SN Chakravarty, an independent technical consultant for polymer, elastomers and automotive tyre industry.
With almost 50 years working in this field, he has gained insights into the technical and commercial aspects of the rubber, tyre and retread industry in India and abroad.
He says the casing of worn-out tyre is a valuable resource that is often not utilized to the fullest potential. By replacing the worn tread with a new one, the retreaded tyre can provide performance on par with new tyre at a fraction of the original cost.
Dr Chakravarty, who was technology head of Bayer (India) and Modi Rubber that was set up with Continental Reifen collaboration, vows that retreading is an economical alternative to new tyres. As often only about one-fifth of a tyre is worn out in service, it makes economic sense to retread the tyres for multiple times.
The former honorary professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi and Khargpur, Dr Chakravarty is of the view that both cross ply and radial tyres can be retreaded although the structural performance may fall short of the new tyres and service conditions may have to be more closely controlled.
“Retreading often offers a less expensive alternative to the purchase of a new tyre,” he says. “For the truck tyre customer, however, retreading is an integral part of a tyre maintenance and purchasing programme.”
With about 120 research publications in international journals, Dr Chakravarty is consulted on new technology trends by the rubber and tyre industry.
In India it is primarily commercial vehicle (CV) tyres, truck and bus cross ply tyres are retreaded with cold retreading process which gives similar performance as new tyres, he said in an interview to Tyre Asia.
Of course, when basic parameters like stage of removal of tyre for retreading, casing condition, number of retreading done etc are considered when retreading decisions are taken.
“By replacing the worn tread with a new one, the retreated tyre provides performance similar to that of the new tyre at a fraction of the cost,” he says.
When asked at what stage the fleet manager should decide to send the tyre for retreading, Dr Chakravarty says it depends on the usage of the tyres by the commercial vehicle fleet.
“Tyres used in heavy duty, i.e. high load and long haulage vehicles, are normally removed at an early stage, say at about 70 per cent wear to avoid any eventuality in long operation, which are then used for truck/bus plying short distance routes. Controlled loading find retreading a more economical option.”
Commenting on why truckers in India go slow on switching over to radials, Dr Chakravarty says there are many reasons for fleet managers to decide on such issues like better road conditions with resultant less damage to tyre casing.
He says better driving habits also contribute to getting more mileage even from retreaded tyres.
When asked how fleet manager decide on the two retreading options of mould cure and pre-cure processes, he says pre-cure process is definitely preferable and it delivers better performance by heavy truck tyre. But the choice depends on the tyre condition such as damage, deep cuts etc. Primarily it depends on the condition of the casing.

Tyre assets

Dr Chakravarty’s suggestions to fleet mangers for the efficient management of their tyre assets for achieving operational economies include his emphasis on educating tyre users about tyre care and maintenance to achieve better performance and extend the life of tyres.
The Indian Tyre Technical Advisory Committee (ITTAC) has published Tyre Care & Maintenance Manual which fleet owners must refer to. Fleet owners should contact service engineers of tyre companies of their area and organize training courses for their drivers and maintenance staff.
“These practices will definitely lead to better tyre life. Two most important factors to follow religiously are tyre pressure maintenance and control loading. Anyway, recent government notification has legalized the limited overloading as per vehicle category.”
Referring to the current and emerging trends in the retreading industry, Dr Chakravarty says the clear trend is for pre-cure (cold) retreading due to its established advantage and better performance and mileage over ‘hot capping process’.
It was stated that cold retreading of tyre using pre-cured tread gives better performance and higher mileage. It is because abrasion (wear) loss of the tread is much lower giving rise to higher mileage.
This in turn, is because cold tread material is more compact due to much higher pressure (hydraulic) applied during curing of the tread in a hydraulic press compared to a new tyre curing in tyre mould where pressure is limited because of the steam temperature/pressure relationship.
In the cold cure process, factory-cured treads are dense, tough and are of uniform consistency and resilience, as they receive heat and pressure uniformly while moulding, unlike in the conventional retreading process.
The toughened, cured tread is bonded to the tyres at considerably lower temperatures, compared to hot cure mould retreading.
With more radialisation of truck and bus tyres, pre-cure (cold) process is gaining importance. Hot retreading process will be reducing and restricted to use for cross ply tyres where casing are not suitable or acceptable for pre-cure (cold) retreading. Such tyres are used for low loading short haul vehicle.
Retreaded tyres help conserve resources and offer an economical alternative to fleet managers to improve company bottom lines. The use of retreaded tyres gives a boost to circular economy that helps sustainability and offers a better green future for the world.

About The Author

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest Issue

Newsletter Subscription

Recent Tweets

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!