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Continental to Start Using PET bottles in Tire Production

Continental to Start Using PET bottles in  Tire Production

Together with OTIZ, a fiber and textile manufacturer, Continental has developed a special technology for PET bottle recycling. This process will eliminate chemical steps currently in place.

According to Continental, they will use reprocessed polyester from recycled plastic bottles. This will replace the use of conventional polyester.

"As early as 2022, we will be able to use material obtained from recycled PET bottles in tire production. In our innovative recycling process, the fibers are spun from recycled PET without having to break the material down into its components beforehand," says Dr. Andreas Topp, responsible for materials, process development and industrialization in Continental’s Tires business area."

The process will start by sorting the bottles, removing the caps, and mechanically cleaning the bottles. After the bottles are shredded, they’ll be melted and granulated. 

The tests the company conducted showed that secondary raw material fibers perform the same as fibers used currently. 

These fibers are especially good for tires because they are durable, tough, and have thermal stability.

Conventional PET has a long history of being used as a material in car tires because it retains shape under high pressure. 

About 60 recycled PET bottles will be used for one set of car tires. Continental hopes to have tires made from 100% sustainably produced materials by 2050.

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