Turning old into new - KRAIBURG Relastec produces quality products from recycled materials

Protecting the global environment has made the resource-saving use of petroleum-based raw materials increasingly important. The company KRAIBURG Relastec manufactures high-quality products from recycled rubber granulate in northern Saxony-Anhalt which are sold worldwide. Its customers include architects, planners, systems providers in the construction, railways, playground and sports sectors, as well as providers of floor coverings for the area of horse husbandry.

The era of plastics began more than a century ago. To this day, however, most plastics continue to be manufactured from fossil fuels, primarily crude oil. The increasing amount of plastic waste worldwide poses an increasingly urgent ecological problem – one which is now endangering life in the oceans. This has made the economical use of fossil fuel resources and the recycling capability of products such as car tyres and hard-wearing synthetic floor coverings all the more important, both today and in the future.

A good example for the closed loop economy

A company in Salzwedel, Saxony-Anhalt, is achieving this on an exemplary basis. KRAIBURG Relastec GmbH & Co. KG has been manufacturing a wide range of high-quality manufactured products for almost 30 years. The raw materials used include vehicle tyres which have reached their wear limit as well as other technical rubber waste from a variety of industrial sectors. Using specially developed production processes, these materials are processed into a variety of granulates which then form the base product for the manufacturing of the extensive range of products. Up to 95 percent of the raw materials required for the manufacturing – primarily synthetic plastics that are based on crude oil, but also natural tree resins (rubber) – can be saved with this form of recycling loop economy.

No loss of product quality

KRAIBURG Relastec processes some 85,000 tonnes of rubber granulate at its 160,000 square metre site per year. Although the resulting products contain up to 90 percent recycled rubber, their quality is equivalent to that of corresponding products that are made from new rubber. This is ensured by a comprehensive quality management system.

The product range of KRAIBURG Relastec includes underlays for sound and vibration insulation in the construction and railway sectors, fall protection and accessories for children’s playgrounds and leisure facilities, hard-wearing pavement slabs and protective mats for buildings, anti-slip mats for load securing purposes, sports flooring and elastic layers, as well as the elastic floor systems that are used in horse husbandry.

The products of the company from the Altmark are to be found on sports fields, at leisure facilities and in pedestrian zones and shopping centres all over the world. They include seating and balancing equipment as well as decorative design elements in strong, bright colours and in various configurations. By just looking at the products, one would never know that the material from which they are made has already been used in other products.

With its wide range of products made from recycled natural and plastic granulates, the company is a reliable partner to architects, planners and system providers almost all over world. “Our products are just as resistant to thermal and mechanical stress as the ones that are made of non-recycled material,” explains Managing Director Georg Stockhammer. Nor is there any loss of quality.

On course for international growth

KRAIBURG Relastec GmbH has been manufacturing in Salzwedel, northern Saxony-Anhalt, since 1991.  Since then, its number of employees has increased from 25 to 230. Its range of products has also expanded continuously to this day. According to its Managing Director, Georg Stockhammer, the company also considers itself to be positioned well for the future. This year alone, some six million Euros will be invested in the expansion of the granulation plant, “because the market is increasingly demanding higher quality products,” explains the managing director.

Author: Uwe Seidenfaden

Read HERE what Saxony-Anhalt offers in the field of smart materials. HERE materials think smart.