Re-Tread Upcycles Tires into Earthquake-Resistant Building Material


Companies have been using ground-up tire “crumbs” for years in products like shoe soles and synthetic turf, but grinding up tires uses plentiful energy. But Re-Tread Products’ Tire Logs, presented at this week’s Greener By Design conference in San Francisco, don’t need to be ground up– they are easily transformed into a durable, bendable green building material with help from commercially available sidewall removing machines.

Tire Logs are created by taking strips of tire treads (sliced off tires with sidewall removing machines) and helically winding them around an inner core of tire strips into green building products. According to Re-Tread CEO Tom Hanson, Tire Logs can be used as retaining walls, highway noise barriers, sandbag replacements for erosion control and security barricades, and as an earthquake-resistant home building material. “It can withstand deformations that would crack or break conventional building materials,” said Tom. Even detonating ten tons of dynamite on top of a cluster of tire logs won’t produce shrapnel.

With 300 million tires discarded every year, Re-Tread doesn’t have a shortage of Tire Log supplies. Re-Tread is currently banking on economic stimulus money to help it open a manufacturing facility in Fall 2009.