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AZUR Partners Day Demonstrates Growing Interest in Sustainability Credentials of Retreading

The AZUR Partners Day 2024 was held on Thursday, 11 May, at the headquarters of Industrial Gas supplier Messer SE & Co KG in Krefeld, Germany. Network Coordinator Christina Guth and her team demonstrated the rapid growth of the Germany-based tyre sustainability network and continued growing interest in the sustainability of retreading.

AZUR Partners Day

The event had around 70 attendees, including retreaders and suppliers to the retreading industry, tyre recyclers and collectors, and representatives of research institutes, universities, and other bodies interested in the tyre retreading and recycling process.

The event’s keynote speaker was Dr Thomas Muller-Kirschbaum from the Circular Economy Research Foundation and think tank Circular Valley, who gave insight into the future of circular value creation.

“Recycling is crucial for purchasing decisions,” he said during his presentation. “It is high time to act, and there are excellent products for and with tyres that make the difference—retreaded tyres, fall protection mats made from secondary raw materials, and more.”

Messer KG Cryogenic Grinding Plant

During the event, AZUR Partners were also given a guided tour of Messer’s Krefeld facility, including the company’s cryogenic cold grinding plant and recycling laboratory. Cryogenic grinding can separate composites such as fibre or wire-reinforced elastomers such as tyre granules. It is difficult to separate these materials effectively using conventional grinding techniques. Liquid nitrogen is sprayed directly onto the material to be ground, which is then fed into the mill to be ground. The technique ensures a stable process and improves the quality of the ground product.

Retreading Working Group Activities

One of the AZUR Partner Meetings was to report on the activities of the working groups that make up AZUR, including Chemical Recycling (e.g. pyrolysis) and retreading.

Heading up the retreading working group is Clemens Zimmermann from Marangoni, who presented some of the activities being undertaken by AZUR, whose stated aim is to achieve sustainable mobility transformation by promoting the retreading of branded new tyres.

Key projects include a project in conjunction with TH Koeln under the title Project Workshop Automotive Engineering that will help calculate tyre retreadability, the DEKRA certification of retread sustainability, and a planned activity at IAA Transportation in Hannover later this year. A retreading workshop held during the event addressed how to make the most of this opportunity.

Also discussed was Trend Auto 2030 Plus – Project Nero focused on car tyre retreading plus AZUR Network attendance at several industry events this year, including a presence at THE TIRE COLOGNE in June in conjunction with 16 AZUR Partners and a presence at the Tire Technology Expo in February this year.

The network’s attendance at the Innovation Show in Berlin on 5-6 June will be particularly important. This is part of Germany’s Environment Week. At 10 a.m. on June 5, the AZUR Network will present the benefits of a tyre-friendly circular economy in the presence of German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

New Scrap Tyre Resolution

Last but certainly not least, during the AZUR Partners Meeting, the network promoted a new Scrap Tyre Resolution, which it aims to present to the EU.

The Resolution states:

“Tyres are an irreplaceable product for our mobility and a valuable raw material that must be kept in the recycling cycle.

All tyres used in the European Union must be reused or Recycled in the European Union.

New tyres must be manufactured as sustainably as possible – old tyres must be kept in the recycling cycle as much as possible through retreading, material recycling or chemical recycling.

The basis of our economic trade must always be the recyclables pyramid.”

The Official Signing of this Resolution will take place on June 4th at THE TIRE COLOGNE. Supporters can also do so via the AZUR Network website.

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