Lehigh Technologies Taking Rubber Modified Asphalt Round the Curve

An example of rubber modified asphalt progress in 2022 was a collaboration between Georgia-based Lehigh Technologies and Michelin to resurface 6.3 miles of Georgia’s Lawrenceville Highway with Lehigh’s Rubber Modified Asphalt, made with recycled tire rubber powder.

“We’ve paved miles of road using this technology, but what’s unique about this job is that it’s in our own backyard, literally,” Jason Stravinski, President and CEO of Lehigh Technologies, said. “This is a main road that many of our Lehigh team and local community use to drive to and from work every day.”

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The paving project began in September and is in its final stages.

RMA provides a high-quality road surface while also solving multiple business challenges, said Kara Fulcher, Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs for Michelin North America, Inc. First, it uses tires at the end of their first life, which are already available in the North American market. Second, this recycled material replaces a polymer derived from the oil-refining process. Finally, RMA is a locally sourced replacement for an ingredient that is generally imported from Asia. All in all, it provides a highly resilient response to a long, complex supply chain, she said.

“Michelin and Lehigh are proud to take end-of-life tires and give them new life in other products through innovation,” Fulcher said. “The Lawrenceville Highway resurfacing project is an excellent example of Lehigh and Michelin’s shared commitment to keep valuable materials in service as long as possible, so we can enjoy life in motion with progressively less ecological impact.” Over one million tons of US asphalt mix have been paved utilizing the Rheopave + MicroDyne 400-TR system which is comprised of all US sourced materials. Lehigh’s rubber powder alone over the past 10 years has been employed to produce over 5,000 miles of asphalt.

Another advantage of Lehigh’s sustainable product blend is its versatility. It can be used to modify liquid bitumen at an asphalt terminal, or it can be directly added at an asphalt contractor’s site via the Dry Process, as it was with this project. Lehigh is one of several companies that have been at the forefront of developing this unique, cost-saving modification process to produce sustainable and long-lasting roadways.

“Rubber Modified Asphalt produced via the Dry Process with Lehigh’s state-of-the-art technologies provide a paving solution that is equally effective as oil-derived polymer modified asphalt, yet it’s cheaper and more friendly to the environment,” Stravinski said. “With oil and gas prices growing higher each day, why buy and import polymer when there are better, more sustainable options here in the U.S.?”

© Scrap Tire News, January 2023