TORONTO — National Rubber Co. Inc., a Canadian producer of recycled rubber and goods made from recycled rubber, has unveiled a new thermoplastic elastomer with a recycled rubber content of as much as 50 percent.
The new elastomer, Symar T, is more durable than traditional plastics and can be used for both exterior and under-the-hood parts, according to Ted Pattenden, National Rubber president and chief executive officer.
National Rubber formally launched Symar T at Chrysler Corp.'s Total Life Cycle Conference in Auburn, Mich., the week of April 8. National Rubber is a co-sponsor of the conference.
The new material, according to the company, ``will prove to be a cost-effective way for automakers to maintain quality standards and curb landfill use.''
Symar T has ``more than 25 percent of post-consumer recycled rubber content,'' according to a statement issued in connection with the conference. However, the elastomer's typical ratio is more likely to be about 50 percent rubber, 25 percent post-industrial plastic and 25 percent virgin polymers, according to Pattenden.
``The blend will vary according to application,'' he said. ``It can be tailored over a wide range of durometer readings, from, `Gee, it looks like plastic,' to, `Gee, it looks like rubber.'''
Polyolefins are the usual plastics in the blend, though others may also be included, according to Pattenden, who declined to identify which ones.
Symar T can be injection molded, making it ideal for auto parts, the company said. It also is used to make mud guards, body side moldings, back appliqués and other highly visible parts.
National Rubber has a contract with ``a major car company'' to make large original equipment production parts with Symar T beginning in January, according to Pattenden.
Until then, the company is making smaller OE components with the material.
``We have integrated the material into our finished parts stream,'' he said. ``But the contract will cause us to produce the material on a much bigger scale than now.''