CHEVY CHASE, Md.—Recycled tire rubber binders in asphalt pavements can take the place of polymer-modified binders such as styrene-butadiene-styrene with no loss of performance, according to the Rubberized Asphalt Foundation.
Recycled tire rubber has been used to modify asphalt since the 1960s, states the paper written by John D'Angelo, head of D'Angelo Consulting L.L.C. and an RAF advisory board member.
Where contractors have experience with the specific processes and amounts of recycled tire rubber to be used, the material performs well, D'Angelo said.
"The issue with polymer modifiers such as SBS is that they are subject to supply demands and chemical production variations that can lead to supply shortages and higher costs," D'Angelo wrote.
"Scrap tire rubber for RTR modifiers is in plentiful supply, with a relatively stable cost which is attractive for use to produce improved binders," he said.
D'Angelo described a new testing geometry for asphalt rubber binders, allowing for more direct comparisons between RTR and SBS binder performance, he said.
"History has demonstrated RTR binders will perform well in rutting and cracking," he said. "Using the new testing techniques, RTR binders can be compared directly to the polymer-modified binders.
"This clearly demonstrates that RTR can be used in place of or in combination with polymer to provide a high-quality, performance-graded binder," D'Angelo said.