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Contractors World UK & Ireland
2012 Vol 2 No 6   
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New asphalt mix using recycled tyres promises significant all round benefits - page 3 of 4

A blight on the countryside, piles of old tyres with nowhere to go now that burying in land fill is bannedThe surfacing work was carried out overnight to minimise disruption, with representatives of Transport Scotland in attendance.

A blight on the countryside, piles of old tyres with nowhere to go now that burying in land fill is banned.
Photo: Nigel Mykura

Four trial strips were placed: two sections with 14 mm and 10 mm designs; and two sections with the same materials, but with the addition of a 3 mm lightly coated grit to elevate the initial skid resistance of the material. A standard paver was used to place the material and a tandem roller mounted with a gritting box was used to place the grit at a spread rate of 1 kg/m².

The gritting process was carried out after 2-3 passes of the lead roller directly onto the finished surface of the material. It is known that gritting the surface of freshly-made thin surfacings elevates the early skid resistance of the material and the aim of this test was to evaluate the scale of the benefit of carrying out this process.

Each trial section was 80 m in length and 3.3 m wide. Total length with different strips was 640 m. Prior to laying, the surface was prepared by milling out to a depth of 100 mm on to which was a 60 mm layer of binder course material and then 40 mm of the top trial material. It was done over two nights.

Trial strips monitored

Over the next few months the material will be closely monitored against a number of key performance criteria, including skid resistance, and the early indications are very encouraging. Four-week GripNumber testing has already been carried out using a Findly Irvine machine operated by BEAR and the results for all the test panels are well above intervention levels.

Following the success of the trial in Scotland, Breedon Aggregates is now beginning to market the new material, to be called Breedon Polymer R+, from its 18 asphalt plants throughout Scotland and England.

“This could transform our approach to road surfacing in the UK,” said Alan Mackenzie, chief executive of Breedon Aggregates Scotland. “Our industry has been trying for years to successfully incorporate recycled rubber into asphalt, without much success. Thanks to this new technology, which we are partnering with Genan to promote in the UK, we can help change that.”

Contractors benefit from being able to use existing plant and equipment without any modification.  Pict. VogeleEnvironment benefit

Since 2006, EU rules have banned the disposal of tyres to landfill, leaving large quantities of shredded rubber to find alternative uses in various forms of recycling. According to the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Association, nearly 480,000 tonnes of used tyres arose in the UK in 2009.

Contractors benefit from being able to use existing plant and equipment without any modification. Pict. Vogele

LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) studies show that for every tonne of scrap tyres used for rubber modification of bitumen and asphalt, 1.1 tonne of CO2 emissions are saved compared with incineration of the tyres (for example, in cement kilns).

“We’re bringing to market an asphalt which is more economical and environmentally friendly than any comparable product currently available,” added Mr Mackenzie.

“We’ll be drawing on a readily-available recycled raw material, reducing the proportion of expensive stone and bitumen in the mix and cutting the amount of gases and fumes produced, so it’s an all-round win for us and for our customers.”

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