LOUISVILLE, Ky.—EFG America L.L.C. has unveiled a new polymer asphalt modifier that is emblematic of the benefits the company's recycled rubber products provide to customers, according to EFG executives.
EFG exhibited EFG-DVR AM Polymer Compound along with other company products at the International Elastomer Conference held recently in Louisville, Ky.
EFG-DVR AM is the latest version of EFG's DVR compounds, according to EFG press releases.
The result of several years of research, EFG-DVR AM blends easily with asphalt, holds viscosity better than standard styrene-butadiene-styrene virgin polymer materials, and shows equal or better consistency during application than standard SBS formulations, the company said.
"In addition, the low expense and ease of production associated with EFG-DVR AM can translate to an assurance of consistent supply and considerable cost savings to current and future customers," it said.
EFG-DVR AM joins EFG-DVR MB, a devulcanized rubber masterbatch extender and replacement, in EFG's product lineup, according to the company.
EFG-DVR MB begins as cured rubber granulate and is transformed by devulcanization into a fully reusable masterbatch that retains nearly all the same physical properties as the processed material, it said.
The material can be used to extend masterbatch compounds and replace virgin materials, according to EFG. It can be added to existing formulations in ratios ranging from 10 to 99 percent, depending on product requirements, it said.
The secret of EFG's products is that the company achieves 100 percent devulcanization, according to Mark A. Boyd, EFG executive vice president.
"It's not a surface treatment," Boyd said. "We break 100 percent of the sulfur bonds, and we don't change the molecular weight."
All the additives that EFG uses to devulcanize rubber remain in the compound, including curing agents and carbon black, according to Boyd. "There are 17 compounds in our masterbatch," he said.
This saves customers money because they do not need to add chemical modifiers themselves, Boyd said. Also, there are no emissions from additives, which adds to EFG's environmental benefits, Boyd said.
EFG has tested its products with Akron Rubber Development Laboratory over 15 years, proving that EFG polymers retain their properties inside and outside in all conditions, according to Boyd.
"Natural rubber can go stale in six months," he said.
EFG's products fit totally into the concept of corporate sustainability, according to Boyd.
"With tire-derived fuel, we're taking a valuable resource and burning it up, instead of putting it back into rubber," he said. "We need to find ways to use rubber again."
EFG supplies EFG-DVR MB to a Chinese tire maker that uses the material in its tread compounds at ratios up to 50 percent, according to Boyd. The company also is having conversations with other tire companies about their potential use of the material, he said.
The EFG plant in Bay City, Texas, has an annual capacity of 50 million pounds, according to Boyd. To meet demand, the company is looking at locations to begin constructing two new facilities next year to increase capacity by up to 100 million pounds, he said.