USTMA develops partnerships to assess knowledge of the environmental impact and benefits of rubber-modified asphalt
US Research to Study Rubberised Asphalt
The US Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), in partnership with The Ray, a non-profit proving ground for sustainable transportation technologies, announced a research project to assess and compile existing research on the performance, environmental impacts and benefits of using ground tyre rubber (GTR) in asphalt.
The research will result in a “state of knowledge” report that outlines existing research and identifies data gaps in the use of ground tyre rubber in rubber-modified asphalt.
Despite having been in use for around 60 years there still seems to be a need to standardise and understand the performance and the allocation issues around rubberised asphalt.
It has been seen that in use in various climates and conditions that rubber-modified asphalt helps create longer-lasting roads that crack and rut less than traditional asphalt, leading to long-term cost savings for states. Rubber-modified asphalt has been found to be quieter and create better grip and less spray for drivers in wet weather, according to a study by the University of Arizona, and produce half the amount of tyre and road wear particles as traditional surfacing. The use of rubber-modified asphalt also promotes the circular economy as asphalt can be recycled and reused repeatedly.
Dr. Bill Buttlar, director of the Missouri Center for Transportation Innovation, will lead the study, which will include collecting lab and field data and research on the performance and lifecycle impacts of GTR asphalt mixes.
This will allow the team to provide road operators, state and federal regulators and legislators, pavement and road construction contractors, and researchers with a better understanding of rubber modified asphalt’s effectiveness and environmental impact.
The research will be guided by a technical advisory panel of regulators, researchers and scientists to provide support, insights and feedback. It will include a survey of asphalt contractors and mix designers to better understand challenges related to adaptation, data collection from the field and a meta-analysis of journal articles, reports, published research, and public data sets.
Results from the study are expected to be reported in Spring of 2021.