More and more, both individuals and companies
are turning to high-quality retread tyres as an economical and environmentally-friendly
alternative to new tyres, but buying retreads does involve some
risk. Existing testing methods are not able to predict abrasion
under real service conditions, making the accurate estimation of
a retread tyre's lifetime a hazardous affair. European suppliers
of retreads, for their part, still face stiff competition from new,
low-cost, imported tyres.
This project was aimed at improving the
retreading process through several innovative developments. First,
an economical non-destructive testing (NDT) method for detecting
rust and broken cords in used tyre casings was developed. Rust and
damage detection, as well as abrasion prediction represent a considerable
contribution to wider acceptance of retread tyres. NDT of used tyres
was not previously possible. Second, a new water-based tyre cement
was developed, replacing toxic solvent-based cements which are due
to be banned in the near future. Finally, a new method for ranking
wear resistance under service conditions was developed.
The project comprised 21 partners, predominantly
SMEs, from eight different European countries, all of whom stand
to gain from the project results.