3D-Printing at KRAIBURG, the specialist for retreading material
KRAIBURG Austria GmbH & Co. KG
Founded in 1947, KRAIBURG Austria is an independent company within the KRAIBURG Group.Thanks to a shared corporate history, the Austrian company has developed great experience and know-how in rubber processing, and is now one of the leading names in the rubber industry. KRAIBURG Austria has struck a balance between international expansion and retaining the values of decency and humility that characterize a family business with around 300 employees.
KRAIBURG Austria only processes rubber goods of the highest quality. For many years, the company from Upper Austria has specialized in retreading tires and has become one of the most important suppliers of tire material, providing solutions for industry- specific problems of all kinds. Retreading makes worn tires safer, more economical and more environmentally-friendly, giving them a new lease of life. For every area of use and application, from trucks to large tires for earth-moving machinery (EM)
- regardless of whether it involves hot or precure retreading - KRAIBURG has the right tread and the ideal compound. This is what makes KRAIBURG Austria number one in most European markets.
CURRENT SITUATION / CHALLENGES
Specialist for retreading processes
As Europe‘s biggest specialist in retreading material, KRAIBURG Austria produces high-quality material for both hot and precure retreading processes. The compound and tread used are always tailored to suit the application of the tire and the specific demands that involves. The production location in Geretsberg/Upper Austria produces pre-vulcanized tire treads to a length of 10m on multi-level presses. The treads are then delivered to retreaders all over Europe, which then give worn truck tires a new lease of life.
New options for design and function in tire production
The Selective Laser Melting technology enables KRAIBURG mold makers to produce even the most complicated molds, which would be impossible to achieve with conventional production processes such as milling or casting.
The KRAIBURG tire molds, which are used in the retreading of truck tires, were produced on an SLM 500. When choosing materials, designers initially decided on aluminum – further tire molds are planned with a larger number of steel fins.
“3D printing allows us to create tire designs with undercuts and fins with a three- dimensional structure and varying thicknesses, all in one step,” says Thorsten Schmidt, General Manager KRAIBURG Austria. A clever combination of existing production steps with the SLM process can minimize the number of mold areas to be pressed, which therefore leads to a cost advantage. This renders the restrictions of the “old” production methods irrelevant and opens up new possibilities regarding design and function. It is entirely possible to consider extending this printing process to other products and production areas, also within the KRAIBURG Group.
- European specialist for retreading material with great experience and expertise in the rubber industry
- Production of KRAIBURG tire molds for retreading truck tires on an SLM®500
- Production of tire designs with undercuts and fins with a 3D structure and variable thicknesses in one step
- Achieving cost advantages and material savings thanks to a clever combination of existing production steps with the SLM process