Councils collaborate in large scale crumbed rubber roads trial

Eight Sydney councils are collaborating in Australia’s largest crumbed rubber asphalt project, which will see the equivalent of 3,600 tyres incorporated into bitumen on local roads.

Tim Richards

Construction materials company Boral has successfully tendered to provide eight local governments from the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) with 2000 tonnes of the product, as well as 1,200 tonnes of controlled asphalt mix.

Crumbed rubber is a powder-like substance derived from recycled tyres. In this trial, the product will be wet-blended to act as a binder in asphalt pavements to be constructed across eight council areas, using 2,400 car and 490 truck tyres – the equivalent of 3,600 standard passenger car tyres.

The first pavement was laid this month in the Bayside LGA, with remaining works to be completed in coming weeks.

Insights into crumbed rubber asphalt

Boral’s executive general manager of asphalt Tim Richards says the project will provide insights into how recycled rubber asphalt can be tweaked for maximum performance.

“The pavement trial will show how the different asphalt mixes and monitoring parameters perform in a range of road applications and conditions, with the Australian Flexible Pavement Association (AfPA) engaged on this,” he told Government News.

“The different pavements will be monitored against control sections for an initial 12 months to study the performance benefits, with the aim for it to be rolled out on roads.”

Protection from sun damage

Research reported by an RMIT team last year suggested crumbed rubber asphalt can significantly extend the life of roads.

The study found  that used tyre crumb rubber can also protect roads from UV radiation, enabling the surface to last twice as long as regular bitumen.

“It’s promising to see councils drive initiatives that demonstrate the benefits of repurposing waste, such as creating new roads through recycled tyres,” Mr Richards said in a statement.

“We are eager to find ways to maximise benefits to the community and on road projects through innovative construction materials and methods. We look forward to partnering with more local governments on projects such as these.”

The councils involved in the trial are Bayside, Burwood, City of Sydney, Woollahra, Randwick, Sutherland Shire, Northen Beaches and Inner West.

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