TSA works with Victoria DoT to trial rubberised asphalt on a high traffic route
Australia is Turning Used Tyres into New Roads
Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), is funding a project demonstration of the use of end-of-life tyres on a busy Australian road. Asphalt made using crumb rubber from used tyres has been laid on a high traffic road in Melbourne, Australia as part of a new demonstration.
The project, funded by Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) and the Victorian Department of Transport (DoT) aims to showcase the long-term benefit of using end-of-life tyres on busy Australian roads.
“Australia generates the equivalent of 56 million used car tyres every year. Around 30% of those end up in landfill or are stockpiled,” CEO of TSA, Lina Goodman said.
“Finding innovative and sustainable ways of using end-of-life tyres is vital and crumb rubber asphalt roads are the perfect solution to a waste problem,” Ms Goodman said.
“Spray seals incorporating crumb rubber is proven technology on regional and low traffic roads throughout our country and in many places overseas. The aim of this project is to increase the opportunity to use crumb rubber asphalt on high traffic roads,” said Ms Goodman.
This demonstration is supported by Government policy which aims to increase the use of recycled materials in construction projects.
“Crumb tyre rubber when added to an asphalt mix, not only assists with the reuse of a waste stream but it actually adds value to the road structure,” ARRB CEO Michael Caltabiano said.
“ARRB’s applied research findings show that a crumb rubber asphalt lasts longer, performs better and delivers a better economic outcome for the community.” Mr Caltabiano said.
The asphalt was laid on a 1.4 km section of road in Victoria, Australia. The demonstration consists of four different crumb rubber asphalt mixes and two conventional asphalt control sections. The equivalent of around 1600 car tyres have been used in the trial.
The asphalt was made by adding crumb rubber to regular asphalt cement mixture to create a modified product. It was then trucked on site and laid over a series of nights.
Ms Goodman believes the trial is believed to be the first of its kind in Australia based on the scale of the project and number of mixes trialled at the same time.Lab and field testing will be conducted at regular intervals with a final report due by mid 2022.
“We already know that used tyres in roads create longer-lasting, noise-cancelling and safer roads. The results of this research will provide the empirical data that supports the increased use of tyres in roads,” said Ms Goodman.
The trial is jointly funded by TSA, the Victorian Department of Transport and ARRB.
ARRB facilitated the arrangement and they will play a vital role throughout the process. Their independent and rigorous research and testing methodology will identify the optimal volume of used tyres in road application.
Their work in the trial will be monitored closely by road authorities across Australia and may be used by them to modify existing specifications to use more tyres in roads.
The cooperation of the Victorian Department of Transport is also vital. They have allowed the trial to take place on a busy state-owned section of road. As the “owner” of the road, their hands-on involvement during this testing phase indicates the willingness to use more tyres in roads. It also shows they are aware of the positive long-term impact used tyres in roads has on the lifecycle of the road. Participating in this project will help them use ARRB results to shape their specification and future road upgrades.
TSA provided funding for the trial and will continue to support ARRB and the DoT through the next phase. The results will help TSA convince more road authorities across the country to use crumb rubber asphalt across road networks.