Where the tyre meets the road

Tyrecycle is exploring new uses for end-of-life tyres for the country’s pavements, including as rubber-modified bitumen.After they have finished travelling Australia’s highways, many of the nation’s truck tyres come full circle by being turned into a rubber additive for paving new and existing roads.

Tyrecycle, an Australian recycler of end-of-use tyres, shreds truck tyres and turns them into rubber granules and powders (also known as crumbed rubber). Crumbed rubber can be used in rubber-modified bitumen for use in spray seals or as an additive to asphalt for roads.

According to Tyrecycle, rubber modification of the binder helps to improve the properties of the road surface in regards to the response to repetitive loads, cohesive strength and waterproofing. Additional benefits, when utilised in asphalt, are reduced braking distances and less traffic noise, all of which help produce roads that are safer, quieter and last longer.

Spray sealed pavements account for approximately 90 per cent of Australia’s sealed road network. Rubber-modified spray seals have been used by the industry for more than 30 years and are widely used across Australia on new roads and for resurfacing existing pavements.

Adrian Jones, Tyrecycle Account Manager Products, says that this type of pavement is an economical option, ideally suited to a large and sparsely populated country, such as Australia.

“Tyrecycle is always on the look out for innovative ways to use our recycled products to have a direct, positive impact on the environment,” he says.

The crumbed rubber product in asphalt is widely used by civil engineering firm Asphaltech, which is committed to exploring technological advancements and providing tailored solutions for pavements to their clients.

Asphaltech has laid 6000 tonnes of bitumen crumbed rubber asphalt for a range of clients including local councils.

“Crumbed rubber enhances the properties of asphalt,” says David Simmons, Asphaltech Regional Manager.

“It provides the asphalt with greater flexibility and more resistance to structural and reflective cracking. It also provides greater waterproofing qualities.”

As a result of the numerous benefits experienced in using the product, Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) has formed a Victorian working group.

Tyrecycle and Asphaltech, as long-standing members of AAPA, are represented on the state’s working group, which is actively investigating new applications for the use of bitumen crumbed rubber in other road surfaces.

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