Concrete and Earthquake Engineering Research Group

Department of Civil & Structural Engineering

Clean steel


Clean steel: Re-use of steel cord from tyres as reinforcement in sustainable construction

Concept: A method has recently been developed for recovering very high strength steel cord (RTSC) from the significant volumes of pre-vulcanised rubber waste generated during the manufacture of car and truck tyres. Preliminary research has shown this to be ideal for use as structural concrete reinforcement in a range of high value civil engineering applications such as suspended slabs, tunnel linings and ground stabilisation projects.

Project description: Research needs to be conducted to resolve a number of technical issues to enable this material to be cut automatically in to predetermined lengths and used as fibre reinforcement in wet cast, pumped and sprayed concrete. At the conclusion of the research three large scale demonstration projects will be undertaken to confirm the performance of re-used tyre steel reinforcement using these three different placement methods. At present, tyre cord is, at best, recovered at marginal scrap value for re-melting.

Aim: This project will yield new processes and products that restore full value to significant volumes of waste tyre steel cord whilst generating a 96% saving in energy over that used to manufacture conventional steel fibre reinforcement.

More information at:


Innovate UK

Project dates

Start date: 
February 2014
End date: 
June 2016