Cracker mills are industrial machines that shred and tear apart scrap tire rubber. The cracker mills work by passing the rubber material between rotating corrugated steel drums, reducing the rubber to various sizes. Cracker mills are grading according to the fineness of the rubber crumbs they produce.
Crumb rubber is produced as a part of recycling and reclamation efforts by automotive and industrial firms desiring to get more from their rubber purchases. Crumb rubber is made from used tires and industrial belts. During the production process, cracker mills are used to help separate the rubber from any meshing or interior reinforcement, leaving only rubber granules behind. Granulated rubber can be resold for rubberized asphalt, allowing firms to reclaim some of their expenditure on tires and hoses while minimizing their carbon footprint.
Cracker mills have various rotating parts, steel drums which may need sharpening or shifting, adjustment features, and input and output shafts. There are layers of safety shielding to protect operators from particulates and debris generated by the granularization process.
Defects and Failures in Cracker Mills
During the course of use, cracker mills may overheat, causing fumes to be released. The rotating corrugated steel drums can also become clogged with material. Specific areas of product failure usually involve the overheating of gears and the overheating of the overall wiring system. Operators should keep a regular maintenance schedule to prevent fire and production slowdowns due to failures with cracker mills.
- Environmental Protection Agency. (2008, November 13). “Management of Scrap Tires”. Retrieved January 17 2010 from http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/index.htm
- LakinCorp. (2010). “Glossary: Cracker Mill” Retrieved January 17, 2010 from http://www.lakincorp.com/resources/glossary.html#C
- Lynch, Alban J., and Rowland, Chester A. (2005). The History of Grinding. Society for Mining Metallurgy & Exploration.