PITTSBURGH—Austin Rubber Co.'s facility in Greenville, Pa., is scheduled to go online Dec. 15 for production of the company's APX devulcanized rubber and APO plasticizer, according to Donald R. Drew, president of Austin Rubber.
The 30,000-sq.-ft. plant will be located inside the 700,000-sq.-ft. ILSCO complex in Greenville and employ about 21 workers initially with a production capacity of approximately 24 tons per day, Drew said.
It will include a compounding lab for the testing of different compounds containing APX and APO, he said.
Austin Rubber and ILSCO announced their manufacturing partnership in November 2013, according to a news release on the Austin Rubber website.
Austin Rubber appointed ILSCO, a manufacturer of electrical connectors, to its advisory board as manufacturing adviser, and ILSCO made a strategic investment in Austin Rubber, the news release said.
Developed by Liang-tseng Fan, a Kansas State University professor, the pa-tented devulcanization pro-cess of Austin Rubber maintains the quality and integrity of the recycled rubber compound better than other devulcanization technologies, according to the company.
It is effective with any type of rubber compound vulcanized with sulfur, the firm said.
APX devulcanized rubber disperses easily in a rubber compound masterbatch and offers significant cost savings compared with virgin rubber, according to Austin Rubber.
Third-party characterization of APX shows it can be mixed into new rubber compounds at load levels ranging from between 25 to 50 percent, the company said.
APO plasticizer, Austin Rubber's other product, is a unique and affordable plasticizer that is a recycled, sustainable product extracted during the devulcanization process, the Austin, Texas-based firm said.
Austin Rubber also said it can work with clients through mixing and molding evaluation trials to demonstrate the benefits of APX rubber, according to the company.
“The vertical integration of in-house compounding, molding and testing capabilities also enable Austin Rubber to streamline formulation and prototyping efforts for its clients,” it said.
Austin Rubber and its close collaborator, Austin Footwear Labs, are both subsidiaries of Green Source Energy L.L.C.
The two operations both have had success in the development and manufacture of footwear using APX, especially in Austin Footwear Labs' proprietary Tredagain sandals and in a pilot running shoe project with Bata Shoes in Batangar, India, according to Austin Rubber.
The new plant in Greenville will allow Austin Rubber to expand into other product areas, such as solid and off-the-road tires and molded products, Drew said.