Contractors World

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Contractors World UK & Ireland
2012 Vol 2 No 6   
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The A90 dual carriageway close to Dundee in Scotland. A stretch of the road is being used to evaluate a new surfacing material using recycled rubber tyres.The A90 dual carriageway close to Dundee in Scotland. A stretch of the road is being used to evaluate a new surfacing material using recycled rubber tyres.

Photo: Dbx54 (

New asphalt mix using recycled tyres promises significant all round benefits

The first major UK trial of a new asphalt made partly from recycled waste tyres has been successfully completed on behalf of Transport Scotland by Breedon Aggregates.

A trial currently underway in Scotland to see if a new asphalt mix containing recycled rubber from old tyres meets local and national highway authority standards. If the results are as positive as similar tests in continental Europe, where the product has been adopted, then there could be all round benefits for the environment, road authorities, contractors and those impacted by traffic noise.

The new road surfacing asphalt, called Breedon Polymer R+, has been produced, incorporating a proprietary recycled rubber/elastomer modifier, developed by Danish company Genan, the world’s largest tyre recycling business. Unlike previous attempts at using rubber in asphalt, which usually involved trying to melt the rubber completely before mixing it with stone and bitumen, Breedon Aggregates has secured access to new technology from Genan which enables it to incorporate the rubber particles directly into the binding agent. This is achieved at lower temperatures, with lower levels of emissions, bringing significant environmental benefits.

Plant and surfacing trials were then carried out in Breedon’s Benninghoven asphalt plants in its quarries at Clatchard and Ethiebeaton in ScotlandMinimal waste from tyre recycling

Genan’s recycling technology is used to separate scrap tyres into their basic components: 67% rubber powder and granulate, 18% steel, 14% textile and only 1% waste.

Plant and surfacing trials were then carried out in Breedon’s Benninghoven asphalt plants in its quarries at Clatchard and Ethiebeaton in Scotland

The rubber powder portion is then mixed with a semi-crystalline polyoctenamer to produce the bitumen modifier called Road+. It is this modifier which Breedon has used to produce its new Breedon Polymer R+ surfacing material.

Roads in other parts of the world which have been surfaced with material incorporating this modifier have proved to be stronger and longer-lasting, because they are less exposed to rutting and cracking.

This helps significantly to reduce maintenance costs and time spent on repair works, and avoids the necessity to produce virgin alternative modifiers like the more commonly-used styrene-butadiene-styrene.

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