Rubberized Asphalt Use Growing Worldwide

More than 85 stakeholders interested in expanding the use of recycled rubber in asphalt pavements gathered at the 5th Rubber Modified Asphalt Conference held in Austin, TX last month.

Sponsored by the Scrap Tire Research and Education Foundation, the Rubber Manufacturers Association–both Washington DC organizations, the Rubber Division American Chemical Society, Akron, OH; Rubber Pavements Association,Tempe, AZ; the National Center for Asphalt Technology, Auburn, AL; the Asphalt Institute, Lexington, KY and the National Pavements Association, Lanham, MD, the two-day meeting covered the latest developments in rubberized asphalt.

Presenters and those attending engaged in interactive dialogue throughout the sessions to detail progress in the types of technology being used to incorporate rubber into asphalt binders.

Traditional hot mix asphalt (HMA) , the technology that first used recycled tire rubber in asphalt, is a stable market for rubber modified asphalt today while newer technologies like terminal blended asphalt blended with tire rubber is making strong in- roads in the market. Recycled tire rubber is also being incorporated into warm mix asphalt blends which require less energy and produce lower emissions. These attributes make warm mix asphalt a good environmental choice, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Steve Mueller said in a presentation covering an Overview of the FHWA Organization and Recycling Policy and the USA Road Network.

Millions and millions of tons of recycled materials including slag, recycled asphalt pavement (RAP), and recycled tire rubber, are being used in highway pavement applications annually in the U.S., Mueller said.

FHWA’s Environmental Policy seeks to both save non-renewable resources and encourage the use of industrial byproducts in the nation’s highways, Mueller said. “And, he added, ” it’s also just ‘a darn good’ practice”.

Presentations also included reviews of FHWA’s Sustainable Highway Program and case studies of rubber modified asphalt use in Louisiana, Texas and Nebraska. Other topics covered the noise reduction effects from rubber modified asphalt, cold-weather use of rubber modified asphalt in Sweden and Alaska and a summary of current research on rubberized asphalt.

© Scrap Tire News, December 2011