DALLAS-Superior Environmental Products Inc. has introduced a new product that uses recycled rubber to contain hazardous waste-plus a lot more. Surface-modified scrap tire rubber, a new material from Composite Particles Inc. in Allentown, Pa., makes up 40 percent of the ER-1000 R, a coating that temporarily can contain spills of a broad range of chemicals, as well as oil and gasoline, the company said.
According to Superior, new laws designed to protect soil and water from contamination make coatings an attractive option to industries.
For example, the recently enacted EPA Clean Water Act requires impermeable dikes be placed around every above-ground gasoline or oil storage tank in the U.S. by 1997. The dikes must be able to hold the entire contents of each tank for at least 72 hours.
Covering soil or concrete dikes, which are permeable, with ER-1000 R would fulfill that requirement, said Superior President Roger Chafin.
ER products, all of which contain modified rubber, are valuable in many ways, Chafin said. They are 100-percent solid, contain no solvents or volatile organic compounds, are ``quite chemical resistant'' and do not have to be disposed of as hazardous waste.
``It is something being introduced into the market ... and being well received,'' said Chafin.
``The usefulness of (the ER-1000) is just getting larger and larger,'' said Mike Cork, Superior director of research and development.
It has been used as a roofing compound, an underlayment for high-performance coatings and even as a swimming-pool liner. It can be applied with a brush, roller or spray gun and has an estimated lifespan of up to 20 or 30 years.
Superior's goal is to diversify the uses for its ER product line as much as possible, Cork said.
The ER 320, ``designed specifically to accommodate seams, penetrations and joints of dissimilar materials,'' is already becoming popular at some power plants, Cork said, and the ER 2000 is being used for expansion joints.
Superior's Dallas-area plant produced 1,500-2,000 gallons of ER-1000 in March. It also produces about 250 gallons of ER-320 per month.
Other companies in the coating industry use asphalt-modified urethanes, according to Cork. ``The difference is that they don't have the chemical resistance,'' he said.