NOVEMBER 2010
                                        

Rubberized asphalt lasts longer for less

Rubberized asphalt is a high-performance alternative to traditional paving material that combines the strength and versatility of asphalt and the longevity and flexibility of recycled rubber. Derived from scrap tires, rubberized asphalt is longer lasting, safer, less costly, and friendlier to the environment than traditional paving materials. Rubberized asphalt provides an outlet for between 500 and 2,000 scrap tires per lane mile of pavement. For a 1 mile section of 4 lane highway, between 2,000 and 8,000 tires create a longer-lasting, safer and more cost-effective roadway.

“Rubberized asphalt resists cracking and rutting, improves skid resistance, decreases splash and spray in wet conditions and decreases maintenance costs,” said Jeffrey Kendall, CEO of Liberty Tire Recycling, a tire recycling service provider.

Cracking in traditional asphalt is a result of vertical or horizontal movements beneath the overlay that are caused by traffic loads, temperature fluctuations and shifting earth. Rubberized asphalt reduces the occurrence of cracking and rutting with superior elasticity and stiffness. In use for more than 40 years, rubberized asphalt is laid using the same equipment as traditional asphalt in most cases. The longer lasting properties of recycled rubber reduce maintenance costs and provides a consistent supply of material.

Other environmental factors include the reduction of noise pollution by up to five decibels on highways, and the reduction of high temperature zones caused by urban heat islands. A heat island is an area that is significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas because developed land retains more heat. Rubberized asphalt’s porous top layer cools down quicker than conventional asphalt, cooling road surfaces and diminishing the effects of urban heat islands.

The EPA lists the benefits as “...longer lasting road surfaces, reduced road maintenance, cost effectiveness over the long term, lower road noise and shorter braking distances.”