Giving worn tyres a new life

Guttridge the Lincolnshire based bulk handling specialist were asked by Crumb Rubber Ltd, to supply equipment for their new processing plant in Plymouth. Twenty belt and bucket elevators are now integrated into a system that turns old tyres into useful materials.

Crumb Rubber take used tyres that have been chopped into 20mm pieces and processes them into flakes of various sizes from 3mm down to 80 microns. The resulting product is used in a variety of applications, including playground flooring and coating processes.

The plant itself had already been designed when Guttridge's Michael Green became involved. However, Michael suggested a change to the design to create cost savings and improve the factory layout.

The main change was to use belt and bucket elevators instead of the screw conveyors and aeromechanical elevators that had previously been specified. Michael explains: "Inclined screw conveyors are often the right solution, but in this case floor space was at a premium. Therefore, because belt and bucket elevators operate in the vertical plane, we suggested the change in specification."

A total of 20 identical elevators were supplied to handle the rubber product from intake right through the process to its eventual output as the finished product.

Meeting the heights

The rubber is taken through a complicated process, including the removal of the steel and cloth components of the tyre pieces. For most pieces of process equipment, the material has to be raised by up to six metres to reach the inlet.

With such a complicated process, it was important to allow for installation flexibility. To give the customer some leeway on the precise location of the equipment, special inlets with over-sized rubber covers were provided. These could then be cut to size during installation, depending on the exact positioning of each unit.

Caged pulleys were included in each boot section to prevent the rubber crumb from building up in that area. "If material builds up around the bottom pulley it can in effect increase the size of the pulley, putting an unacceptable strain on the belt," explains Michael Green.

Supply and installation

All the machines were fully assembled and tested at Guttridge's Lincolnshire factory prior to delivery. This meant that the customer had a relatively simple installation process.

To make things even easier, special lifting hooks were incorporated into the elevator heads so that each machine could be lifted as a complete assembled unit into its final position. Throughout the design and manufacture Guttridge also took into account the need to interface the new elevators with the plant's existing horizontal conveyors.

Michael Green explains another challenge of the project: "This was a new factory so there was an emphasis on supplying the equipment quickly so that they could get up and running. We delivered the first series of ten elevators within six weeks of receiving the order, and the remaining six within four weeks after that."

Crumb Rubber Ltd's David Oliver is certainly satisfied  with the equipment: "We compared the Guttridge equipment to others and there was no doubt that Guttridge was the way to go. The build quality is superb and we are really happy with the way it's performing."

We manufacture a wide range of machinery designed to suit the needs of the flour milling and general feed and pet food industries.

  • Hiload Bucket Elevators
  • Chain Conveyors
  • Screw Conveyors & Elevators
  • Bin Dischargers
  • Slide Valves
  • Miscellaneous Fabrications
Guttridge building

About Guttridge

With a foundation of 50 years of experience, Guttridge is a flourishing company, globally respected for delivering well-engineered, reliable materials handling solutions that continue to anticipate dramatically changing industrial needs.