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Recycling of Waste Rubber by the Manufacturing of Foamed Polyurethane-Based Composites—Current State and Perspectives
* 1 , 2 , 2 , 2 , 2
1  Gdańsk University of Technology
2  Department of Polymer Technology, Gdańsk University of Technology


Worn car tires are disruptive waste, and the issue of their management is crucial for the natural environment. In many countries, the primary method of end-of-life tires utilization is energy recovery. However, more effective and beneficial for the environment is material recycling. Using them for the production of polymer-rubber composites seems to be an auspicious direction of research. Incorporation of ground tire rubber into polyurethane matrix should be considered as a method of waste rubber utilization. Moreover, it could significantly reduce the use of petroleum-based polyols and isocyanates, which are commonly considered as toxic chemicals. Therefore, the total impact on the environment could be noticeably reduced, which should be considered as very beneficial step towards more “green” polymer composites. This work aims to summarize the literature reports related to the foamed polyurethane/ground tire rubber composites. It particularly emphasizes the need for compatibilization of these materials by the enhancement of interfacial interactions between the polyurethane matrix and rubber filler phase, which significantly affect the performance properties of prepared materials. As an example, we presented our research results. Besides, future trends and limitations related to this type of composite materials are underlined.

Keywords: Recycling; ground tire rubber; polyurethane foams; composites; rubber modification; matrix-filler interactions