K.I. Saab and Associates
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Tire Recycling

The tire evolution started with the wheel in 3,500 B.C. The progression from that day to the present has been one of designing a softer ride, improving rolling resistance, and extending tire wear. It all began when Columbus first discovered rubber in 1493 but it wasn’t until Goodyear discovered vulcanization in 1839 that a sound use of rubber in tires was feasible. In the early 19th century, solid rubber truck and carriage tires were used along with leather covered pneumatic tires, which were patented by Thompson.

In 1883, US Rubber Reclaiming was founded. In 1888 Dunlop reinvented the pneumatic tire. Since that time, the wear ability of tires has come a very long way. Back in the early 1900’s you could estimate the useful life of a tire was about 5,000 miles. Our present day tires easily surpass 30,000 miles and new technology and innovation has already pushed this figure to 50,000 with some tires.

With all the added convenience of having an indestructible tire in our modern world, we have created an overwhelming disposal problem. The recovery of scrap tires is presenting the world with a modern day challenge.

For the last 20 years KSA and it’s team of associates has been involved in the research of many tire recycling technologies, systems and product manufacturing solutions. A full scope of work can be demonstrated, including many successful tire recycling projects built in various world markets including; US, Canada, Mexico, China, Europe and Saudi Arabia.

Feasibilty Studies

Many people see the tire recycling business as a fast track way to make money. It is not. The business is very complicated and is driven not by free issue scrap tires rather than by the local market conditions and opportunities for recycled tire derived materials and value added products which actually drive the success of any project. To this end KSA provides a detailed project Feasibility Study program in order to fully investigate local market conditions, local energy, material and labor costs, commodity pricing, competitive analysis, available grants and financing options, and many other factors which go into a comprehensive study document with 5-year in-depth financial and sensitivity analysis required by any private equity of institutional investor(s).

In 2011, KSA provided Manwa Trading & Contracting Company www.manwasa.com established 30 years ago (in collaboration with Shibh Al-Jazira and Reda National) with an in-depth project feasibility study for a vertically integrated tire recycling project located in Riyadh, designed to produce crumb rubber for the growing Saudi Arabian asphalt rubber market.

Technology Transfers

As well as providing comprehensive project feasibility studies, based on a combination of desk research and local in territory fact finding and networking; KSA provides a full technology transfer program covering proven technology scope and equipment configurations, detailed analysis of historical performance and operational activities and full technical support and know-how transfer, along with sales and marketing support services and post technology installation project management.

Asphalt Rubber

There is a growing local interest and hence demand for asphalt rubber binders as a high performance, cost effective road surface membranes providing low noise, safety and longevity properties – based on more than 25-year of development work in the United States (worth many millions of dollars) which can now be capitalized upon. Further detailed comparisons can be made between “wet process” asphalt rubber vs. “dry process” with resultant advantages/disadvantages, as well as with polymer modified asphalt and the newer elastomeric asphalt extenders and catalysts.

As well as design and engineering services this will include bringing to the Kingdom special proprietary asphalt rubber blending equipment needed to successfully manufacture asphalt rubber binders for use in road construction - now being introduced in the Kingdom after many years of market development work. To support this growing demand we can provide all the expertise to design and build a state-of-the-art tire recycling and crumbing plant to process in-Kingdom scrap tires to manufacture the required crumb rubber granulate used in the production of the asphalt rubber. Alternatively, we can now source AR specification crumb rubber from our Jeddah/Al Wajh based clients new state-of-the-art crumbing facility capable of producing more than 20,000 tons per annum.

  • ASPHALT-RUBBER is long lasting. It resists cracking and case studies have demonstrated over and over again that ASPHALT-RUBBER, when designed properly, lasts much longer than conventional materials – often 50 percent longer. This saves on maintenance costs.

Good for the Community -

  • ASPHALT-RUBBER is durable, safe and quiet. One of the most compelling arguments for using ASPHALT-RUBBER is the potential to quiet our roadways. Research has shown that noise can be reduced as much as 85 percent in some instances.
  • ASPHALT-RUBBER provides better traction and visibility in wet weather, which may reduce highway accidents.

Good for the Environment -

  • ASPHALT-RUBBER is environmentally friendly. A two-inch thick resurfacing project uses over 2,000 scrap tires per lane mile. This means that for a one-mile section of a four-lane highway, over 8,000 scrap tires can be used in creating a safer, quieter, longer-lasting road!
  • ASPHALT-RUBBER can help reduce the number of scrap tires that go into our landfills.  Contractors are able to garner favorable press and media through this form of economic environmentalism.

The 6th International AR2015 Asphalt Rubber conference will be held in Las Vegas October 4-7, 2015 see link: http://www.consulpav.com/rar2015/

Underlayment and Sports Surfacing

Also, acting as exclusive agent in the Middle East for U.S. Rubber Recycling, Inc., California for the sale of a wide range of flooring products made from scrap tires including; sound reduction underlayment for high rise construction, as well as a wide range of sports surfacing applications.

KSA are actively developing technology transfer programs for this and other technologies focused on up-converting crumb rubber into valuable value-added product groups covering construction, industrial, civil and automotive product applications.


Pour-in-place is typically a thick shock absorbing surface fabricated from non-toxic recycled rubber and topped with colored EPDM rubber. These layers create a resilient and firm surface which can conform around play equipment and has a variety of creative design options while meeting US government ASTM 1292 and ADA accessibility standards.

Typical installations include: parks and recreation, schools & daycare centers, private homes & villas, commercial developments and multi-purpose projects.

Poured-in-place playground surfacing has many advantages including: critical fall heights (recommended for up to 12 feet high) indoor, outdoor multipurpose installations. Logos and other intricate patterns can easily be incorporated with up to 25 colors all combined with a 5-year warranty.

Poured-in-place playground features:

  • High UV stabilization
  • 100% recycled base layer
  • Conforms around play equipment
  • Easy to maintain
  • ADA compliant & meets ASTM 1292 standards

Roofing/Waterproofing and Coatings

KSA is in talks to bring to the Middle East a patented Rubber Roofing system consisting of a Primer, White top-coat and caulking. This system is proven and is eminently suitable for hot Middle East climates where waterproofing and general performance properties with a minimum of 10-year life and low maintenance expectancy are of paramount importance to end users. The Primer has many characteristics not found in most standard White Roof coatings. 

Chemicals in the formulation are activated by the Sun’s UV’s to “Vulcanize” on the roof’s surface, thus creating a seamless rubber membrane.  The acrylic resin used in the formulation is extremely durable and totally inert.  It also has a high degree of elasticity, which enables the coating to expand and contract much more than standard roof coatings. 

This is important in climates that have large temperature swings from day to night.  The company figured out how to suspend recycled tire rubber (made from recycled car/truck tires) in a water-based paint, thus allowing the formulation to be sprayed on the surface without the need to heat/melt the product (like hot tar).  And because it’s sprayed on, there are no seams (to possibly delaminate later).

The recycled tire rubber is also a great insulator, used for that purpose in many materials from electronics to car parts.  And the recycled tire rubber gives the formulation superior waterproofing characteristics.  But it’s dark and would absorb heat, if left uncovered, so hence the 2nd part of the system i.e. the Bright-White Top-Coat.  The final dry thickness of the Rubber Primer coating is 20 mills.

Tire Devulcanization

To recycle tires they are shredded and ground. Then the ground shreds will have magnets remove the steel and the nylon is separated by a vacuum system leaving only the resulting crumb rubber which is classified as fine 60 mesh (ASTM) crumb rubber.

Rubber is a polymer made out of oil, carbon black, sulphur and small amounts of silica and zinc. These materials are processed under pressure and temperature to thermoset the materials by cross-bonding with sulphur, resulting in vulcanization.

If the sulphur bond in the polymer is broken, then the rubber can be separated into the original materials. A patented process treats 60 mesh crumb rubber utilizing “supercritical fluid technology with a hydrocarbon based solvent” to break the sulphur bond on the surface of the crumb rubber. This process is called “devulcanization” and this has been successfully demonstrated the pilot plant. In addition, the resultant RLR has been verified by outside independent laboratories as to its properties and usability as a potential Liquid Rubber compound.

The process that can produce a variety of butyl rubber mixtures from tire crumb which devulcanizes and solubilizes the tire crumb into a viscous fluid (40,000 to 100,000 cP viscosity) using the supercritical fluid technology. The materials can be used in rubber formulations using organic solvents or mixed with latex (or other polymers) in water based applications.


KSA in collaboration with its US based associates is providing clients with combined experience of more than 60+ years covering wide range of industry sectors including: engineering, construction industry, environmental tire recycling, medical waste recycling technologies, plastics and thermo forming, food packaging, property development and construction, architectural product marketing, procurement and project management services. This combined with a worldwide network of contacts and associates covering many professional disciplines, KSA and its associates has the know-how and technical expertise to take on small, medium and large projects in these sectors.

Industrial Projects

KSA working in collaboration with a Jeddah, Saudi Arabia based boutique engineering and project management entity can provide a wide range of engineering, fabrication and project management services on local Saudi projects including warehousing design and construction, industrial buildings, office and commercial developments as well as hotels and general infrastructure projects.

Tire Devulcanization
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