The repeal of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act does not mean the end of the road for crumb rubber modifiers in asphalt pavement. Robert E. Winters, treasurer of the Rubber Pavements Association and president and CEO of Atlos Rubber Inc., said in a paper presented at Scrap Tire '96 that state highway departments' use of crumb rubber will continue to show slow growth.
``Federal legislation regarding the use of CRM products has been both a blessing and a curse,'' Winters said. ``The federal legislation dramatically raised the profile of this relatively modest industry.''
Not all the attention has been positive, he said .
``The public sector engineering community prefers to use pavement materials based on engineering merit and frankly resented the mandate to use CRM or suffer a funding penalty,'' he said. ``On the other hand, the legislation has certainly served to accelerate much of the ongoing research on CRM technologies.''
The many entrepreneurs who entered the market with the ISTEA legislation now have created an increase in capacity that's made discounting and price cutting common practices, he said.
``Only the strong and diversified will survive in the slower growth, but more orderly growth market,'' Winters said.
About 10 million tires were recycled into hot mix asphalt in 1995, Winters said, adding the use of crumb rubber in asphalt applications rose almost 10 percent in 1996.