TUCKER, Ga.--()--Lehigh Technologies, an innovative manufacturer of high-performance, engineered rubber powder, announced it has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support research into the development of commercially viable composites of plastics and micron scale engineered rubber powders manufactured from end of life tire materials. The research grant, under NSF’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, will fund a collaborative program involving Lehigh Technologies scientists and a team from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
“The use of rubber powders from end of life tires in plastics has not received sufficient attention in the past”
“We are very pleased to receive this award to further the scientific understanding of how our PolyDyneTM and MicroDyneTM engineered rubber powders behave in complex polyolefin composites,” said Dr. Alan Barton, Chief Executive Officer of Lehigh Technologies. “The project will involve analyzing the role of surface area of different types of engineered powders on compound performance, as well as surface characterization of these materials. This will help us develop high-performing composites that can meet the needs of demanding applications in the plastics market.”
The Georgia Institute of Technology team will be led by Professor of Mechanical Engineering Jonathan Colton, director of the Center for Polymer Processing. “The use of rubber powders from end of life tires in plastics has not received sufficient attention in the past,” said Professor Colton. “Our collaboration with Lehigh, supported by the NSF, will advance the state of knowledge significantly. We expect our work to have tremendous commercial importance and a beneficial environmental impact.”
Around 300 million tires are discarded each year in the United States. While the industry and states have made progress in diverting end of life tires from landfills, about half are still burned for their fuel value. Lehigh Technologies’ proprietary process takes the material from tire recyclers and “upcycles” it into micron-scale, high quality, engineered rubber powders.
Lehigh’s products are already being used in high technology applications such as tires, industrial rubber goods, construction products, and coatings, and can help manufacturers lower costs, improve product performance, and reduce environmental impact. This NSF research grant will support developing the market for plastics applications in segments such as automotive, construction materials and consumer products.
About Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked the 12th best engineering and information technology university in the world by the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings and seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute. For more information, please visit www.gatech.edu.
About Lehigh Technologies
Lehigh Technologies manufactures micron-scale engineered rubber powders for use in a wide range of industrial and consumer applications. They were recently recognized as a 2010 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. Headquartered in Tucker, GA, the company is privately held. For more information, please visit www.lehightechnologies.com.