London - UK-based Gumdrop Ltd has teamed up with Teknor Apex to develop technology to convert chewing gum waste into a raw material for thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs).
Gumdrop, which specialises in the recycling of waste chewing gum, approached Teknor Apex while working on a programme for reclaiming pre and post-consumer gum for use in its Gum-Tec compound.
“We assembled a multi-disciplinary team drawing on our capabilities for materials analysis, process engineering, and manufacturing,” said Teknor Apex senior market manager Stef Hordijk.
The waste chewing gum forms up to 30 percent of the new gum-based TPE compounds.
According to Hordijk, the Gum-Tec compounds, like standard TPEs, have a low compression set, can be formulated for either glossy or matte finishes, accept colours, and are recyclable.
Wellington boots available at www.mygumboots.com were among the first commercial applications for Gum-Tec compounds.