Exo-Cubic Solutions is a UK-based company with a focus on finding a more environmentally friendly way to dispose of waste tires. Throughout their research, they discovered that ultra-high-pressure water (UHPW) could be used to scrub the rubber from the steel lattice within the tire. This results in a recycling process that can be used to recover 100% of the rubber, steel, and water in the process. Exo-Cubic has proven this innovative technology with passenger vehicle tires. Exo-Cubic is now looking to extrapolate the concept and apply it to five-ton industrial-grade tires.
Mining quarry equipment requires tires that are six-hundred times the size of passenger vehicle tires. When these tires are worn out, they are generally discarded on the outskirts of the quarry. This is where they lie until they go to a landfill. To assist in developing the recycling technology for this sheer amount of rubber, Exo-Cubic took their idea to UPEI’s Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering. This is where the fourth-year design team was tasked with the problem. The client stated that the design must be a fully mobile unit that can accomplish on-site tire recycling. The design would be laid out to fit within a series of shipping containers and floor plans for which must be developed. Tire transportation methods must be included and 95% of the product must be recovered from the process.