2023 Innovate UK Award winners for green innovative technology
Advanced Polymers Ltd (Adpol) have developed and is manufacturing in the first ever recycled Silicone Rubber compound “Silicrumb” that is suitable for moulding and extrusion and the first viable recycling option to keep Silicone Rubber waste out of landfill.
Silicone Rubber is an incredibly versatile, flexible and widely used product, in medical, catering, sealing and many electrical applications. But what makes it so successful as a polymer makes it incredibly difficult to breakdown and reuse. Typical CO2 footprint of a kg of Silicone Rubber is 5kg**. There is no current recycling route for Silicone Rubber, so it will remain in landfill for hundreds of years once it’s deposited there. With an estimated 8.8 Million tons of Silicone produced in 2022* it’s an issue we all need to address.

This grant funding helps us to produce samples for you and your customers to encourage the adoption of Silicrumb into design and marketing for new products and drop-in replacements for existing products. Sustainability, reducing carbon footprints, environmental responsibility and recycling are all very strong elements and drivers in purchasing trends right now. The need for sustainable materials is starting to creep into contracts and becoming a more frequent question when making a supplier, product or material selection.

With parts manufactured from Silicrumb you can immediately offer all the above for you and your customers to market, promote via PR and sales to win orders. Every kg of Silicrumb used is a kg of Silicone Rubber kept out of the ground, it’s also CO2 saving that we can certify for you on a Certificate of Conformity, and at the end of the products life we will take it back and recycle again.

Extruded, moulded, stamped gaskets, joined O Ring or picture frame seals, in different colours, some amazing speckled effects, hardness’s, and tear strengths are all available. We’ve also just completed testing on our flame-retardant grade Silicrumb FR, passing a vertical burn test.
Adpol has successfully moulded and extruded many different products in Silicrumb, working with firms in the aerospace, retail, lifescience, civil engineering and design sectors to name but a few. Developing new products and helping these firms, and their customers develop and offer a sustainable option in Silicone Rubber.

One of the main areas of development has been the Aircraft Interiors sector. With Airlines tasked to be carbon neutral by 2050, all eyes are focused on sustainability and processes to deal with cabin interiors which can be changed out every 5 years. By working with the Aircraft Interiors Recycling Asc Adpol offers the first recycling solution for Silicone Rubber, and replacement with a Flame-Retardant version of Silicrumb.

There is an obvious need to find a home for the vast quantities of waste silicone rubber generated every year. Please can you help us find applications for Silicrumb to start the process of introducing it into supply chains as a mainstream product. Where you think there is good potential, please contact us to see if we can help with any samples. Pricing with Silicrumb will be on a parity with flame retardant and specialist Silicone bases but should drop as volumes grow.

As an Adpol customer you will be one of the first globally to be able to market and supply products made from Silicrumb recycled Silicone Rubber, and we’d like to help you make this a success for you and the world we live in.
*Silicon Production Worldwide Report M Garside, Feb 2023
**Indication figures from Elkem Polymers and AIRA 2023 (Aircraft Interiors Recycling Association).