top of page

REPP

REPP, or Rubber Environment Protection Profiles, is a rubber product designed to protect road users, cyclists, and pedestrians from injuries in collisions. This innovative product was developed as part of a Master’s degree project by industrial designer Katarina Segerberg at Lund University's Faculty of Engineering in Sweden. 

Katarina Segerberg's journey began with a spark of determination to challenge the status quo in the tyre industry. She was motivated by a desire to improve and innovate, even when faced with seemingly impossible challenges. Her degree project presentation at the annual Tyre Industry Day in Stockholm on 10 May 2022 highlighted this ethos.

14. Montering .png

Project Genesis and Material Selection

Katarina's project aimed to enhance the circular economy for tyres. Despite initially lacking industry knowledge, she viewed this as an opportunity to learn and innovate. Inspired by a talk on recycled rubber granulate flooring, she chose to focus on this underexplored and promising material for her project.

 

Key Areas for Circular Economy Improvement

Katarina identified five critical areas for advancing the circular economy:

  1. Reducing consumption of new items

  2. Designing smarter products and packaging

  3. Increasing reuse

  4. Enhancing recycling processes

  5. Recovering energy from non-recyclable materials

Her research revealed the interconnectedness of these areas, necessitating comprehensive changes for significant impact. She decided to concentrate on increasing the reuse of tyre materials, which offered the greatest potential for meaningful contributions.

9. REPP.png

Collaboration with the Swedish Tyre Recycling Association

In early 2021, Katarina began collaborating with the Swedish Tyre Recycling Association. This partnership provided valuable insights into the challenges and scope of the project. She identified key considerations for developing a new product in this field:

  • Utilising rubber for its inherent properties

  • Ensuring demand for recycled rubber applications

  • Managing large volumes of reused materials

Innovative Forms and Ideas

Katarina expanded the material forms beyond whole tyres and granulate, introducing rope and fabric forms. She generated 23 ideas, including traffic barriers, entrance mats, industrial counters, and outdoor gyms. Her approach demonstrated the untapped potential of recycled rubber.

Montering

 

Development of Three Key Models

 

Three ideas emerged with significant development potential:

  1. B1 – Traffic barrier: A rubber-cast barrier for traffic safety.

  2. B3 – Traffic pole: A pole with a soft rubber layer for collision protection.

  3. R3 – Rubber cable barrier: A rubber rope designed to absorb collision forces.

These concepts, focused on road safety, leveraged the familiarity of tyres in the application, facilitating greater acceptance of recycled materials. 

Refinement and Detailed Development

The B3 traffic pole concept was selected for further development. Katarina explored attachment methods, adaptability to different post designs, and the integration of reflectors and logos for enhanced visibility and safety.

Installation, Disassembly, and Lifespan

REPP profiles are fitted around traffic posts by gluing two profiles along their longitudinal edges. In case of damage, they can be replaced and disassembled using an angle grinder, ensuring recyclability and extended usage.

12. REPP.jpg

Variants and Aesthetics

REPP is available in various softness levels and colours to suit different environments, such as playgrounds or urban areas. The standard profile size ensures compatibility with common post diameters, enhancing its practical application.

Sustainability and Circular Economy Impact

REPP, made from 100% recyclable rubber granulate, demonstrates durability and resistance to environmental factors. While REPP alone won't immediately transform the circular economy, its long-term impact lies in fostering acceptance of reused materials and promoting sustainable practices in tyre recycling.

Conclusion

Katarina Segerberg's REPP project exemplifies how design can drive innovation and sustainability. By addressing the challenge of tyre waste, REPP contributes to a broader circular economy, paving the way for future advancements in material reuse and environmental protection.

bottom of page