Rubber Conversion’s challenge: Claim to reclaim vs devulcanized

Place: C lab, Piazza Fiera, Trento & Polo Scientifico e Tecnologico “Fabio Ferrari”, Povo

Dates: 16-25th of July, 2018

Challenge overview

Although perceived as the most recent advance in the rubber waste recycling, devulcanization faces many ambiguities caused by the absence of a more transparent distinguisher between the two: devulcanized vs reclaimed. Which technical data reveals this information? Where’s a physical evidence? How do we measure and evaluate the difference?

To answer these and many other questions, researchers had to address the 2 class of processes, i.e. devulcanization against the reclaim, by looking at the difference between the TDS of 2 representative products, one from Rubber Conversion grades & properties and the other from one of the established reclaimed rubber producers. By comparing their behavior in a benchmark compound across the main physical/chemical indicators, scientists will argument the most relevant differences in terms of the quality of the final product.

Second part of the task targeted some raw materials market research questions: how to transform raw materials into a major strength for Europe? While empowering students to connect business with research and education, Rubber Conversion provoked innovativeness and evolution in the technologically revolutionary environment.


Around 60 PhD students and researchers were divided in several teams, mainly with materials-related background. Rubber Conversion teams suggested the best possible applications which highlighted the quality difference of the two processes, while trying to understand and change the approach on the way industry uses these products.

The outcome

Among the three RubiCon, NanoRubber and SoleMates, our jury members awarded the innovative solution presented by the NanoRubber team as its TOP STAR 2018 winner of the challenge. Nevertheless, the remaining two teams brought up some amazing implementation proposals in this sharp competition, exceptionally valued both by the judges from the relevant fields of science and industry.

Rubber Conversion team shares a very sincere appreciation for a given innovative technology recognition and for being invited to participate in this remarkable international networking event. Our commitment to drive innovation and to transfer harmony between the two entities, science & industry, always opens some new ways to explore, experiment, create and advance our business and consequently – our clients’ strategic positioning.

Read the article in Recycling Point.