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Tire recycling uses several common terms that are unique to this industry.  Here is a listing with general definitions.


  1. Automobile and light truck tire:  By the numbers, these tires make up the vast majority of tires that need to be recycled in America.

  2. Heavy truck tire:    These tires are used on semi trucks and trailers also known as 18 wheelers.  They are usually re-treaded up to five times before they are disposed of or recycled.

  3. Agricultural tire:    These oversized tires are used on farm machinery.

  4. Heavy equipment tire:    These tires are huge!  They are used on construction and mining machinery.  These tires can be re-treaded several times.

  5. PTE:    Passenger Tire Equivalents - Because there is such a wide range of tire weights, tire recyclers need a "rule of thumb" to use for estimating expenses.  20 pounds per tire is a reasonable average weight for auto and light truck tires and is an unofficial standard.  At 20 pounds each there are 100 tires in a ton.  The unofficial average weight for heavy truck tires is 100 pounds therefore a heavy truck tire is 5 PTE.

  6. Crumb Rubber:    Commonly mispronounced as "Chrome Rubber".  When tire rubber is processed or ground down to granular size such as rock salt, pepper or crumbs it is often called crumb rubber.  The CryoVortex version of this is CryoCrumb (tm).

  7. Powdered Rubber:    When tire rubber is processed or ground down to powder size such as flower or talcum powder it is called rubber powder or powdered rubber.  The CryoVortex (tm) version of this is CryoPowder (tm).

  8. Mesh:    This is the industry standard for measuring the size of rubber crumb and powder.  Mesh means holes per linear inch.  A 10 x 10 mesh screen has 100 holes per square inch.  A 10 x 30 crumb rubber material will pass through a 10 mesh screen but not a 30 mesh screen.

  9. Cryogenics:  " Cry-o-gen-ics ", often mispronounced as " ki-ro-gen-ics " can be defined as the use of low temperatures to solve a problem.  For the CryoVortex, cryogenics is the use of liquid nitrogen (-328 F) for freezing tires to remove strength and resiliency thus leaving them weak and fragile.

  10. Ambient:    The opposite of cryogenic, can mean "room temperature" processing.  Ambient processing does not use low temperatures to pre-cool materials or grinding equipment.  This may lead to many disadvantages in the production of crumb rubber and often can not produce powdered rubber.

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