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Crumb rubber's big test in new trial

by Australian Road Research Board on September 22, 2019

A trial will soon begin using rubber from old tyres in the asphalt of a busy Melbourne road.

A contract has recently been signed between Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), and the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) which marks the beginning of this vital research. The project will be co-funded by TSA, the Victorian Department of Transport and ARRB.

Tyre Stewardship Australia TSA media launch 2-1

ARRB's Melissa Lyons (left) and Tyre Stewardship Australia's Meagan Hill at the signing of the contract between ARRB and TSA.


“Rubber is routinely used in rural road surfacing in Victoria. The aim of this project is to increase the opportunity to use crumb rubber in metropolitan roads”, said the CEO of TSA, Lina Goodman.

The asphalt will be laid on a 1.5 km section of East Boundary Rd in Bentleigh East. It will be on the southbound carriageway, between Centre Rd and South Rd.

“This trial is a landmark opportunity in the development of the circular economy in Australia,” Ms Goodman said.

Tyre Stewardship Australia was formed five years ago to implement the national Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme which promotes the development of viable markets for end-of-life tyres.

Only 10 per cent of the almost 56 million tyres discarded annually in Australia are presently domestically recycled. The rest are either exported overseas or disposed to landfill, stockpiled and illegally dumped.

The study will be conducted by ARRB, the national transport research organisation. It will trial a range of innovative asphalt mixes that incorporate crumbed rubber on a key section of the road network and monitor the performance over time. It is a first of its kind trial based on the scale of the project and number of mixes trialled at the same time.

Crumb rubber bitumen

“ARRB is proud to be a supporting partner of this project which is about finding sustainable solutions to Australia’s tyre problem,” said Melissa Lyons, Senior Professional Leader at ARRB.

Lab and field testing will be conducted at regular intervals with a final report due by mid 2022.

More on crumb rubber research at Smart Pavements Now

How can we use passenger tyres in bitumen?

Topics: VIC, Sustainability, Australian Road Research Board, Pavement, Road Infrastructure, Road and Transport Research, Bitumen, Asphalt, Road design