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Expanding Markets for Recycled Tire rubber in Asphalt Pavements


Redmond Clark, Ph.D.
Asphalt Plus, LLC

Presentation Summary

Although there is a long history of successful recycled tire rubber use in asphalt pavements, the markets in Europe and the US have seen limited expansion over the last decade.  In the few cases of use expansion, increased use of recycled tire rubber typically occurs when regulatory agencies mandate the use of rubber in asphalt road construction.   This is a clear indication of a disconnect between the costs of recycling and the value recycled rubber brings to asphalt pavements.  Recycled rubber use in asphalt is expensive, it has engineering challenges, and road builders have safer and more cost-effective options available.   Absent any changes, widespread use of rubber in pavements will require government intervention.

Over the past decade, researches in the US have tried to develop a modified approach that will allow the introduction of rubber into asphalt pavements in a manner that is both cost-effective and free of the engineering challenges that have limited rubber use in the past.   Chemically engineered crumb rubber products (ECR) introduced into asphalt plants through a “Dry Process” method have met both engineering and economic challenges, and with almost 4 million tons of mix in successful service, this approach is meeting with increasing acceptance by regulatory agencies and paving companies alike.   This presentation will brief attendees on the economic and engineering issues that have blocked rubber use in asphalt, and it will describe the new Dry Process and ECR designs currently in use in multiple states in the US.   Finally, this presentation will address a number of testing changes underway in the paving industry that will further impact the future use of recycled tire rubber in pavements.

Meet the Presenter

Dr. Redmond (Red) Clark is the Chairman and President of CBL Industrial Services,  a group of companies providing a range of manufactured chemistries, technical support and heavy equipment for use in a number of national and international industrial applications.    Red has a Ph.D. in the environmental sciences.  During a 40-year career, he has served as a university professor, a consulting engineer, a director of a state environmental management program, and as a president/chairman for a number of chemical markets.   He has served on a number of industry trade association technical and policy development committees and has authored more than two hundred publications and presentations over the course of his career.

Dr. Clark has provided testimony and technical consulting support on a number of economic, trade an engineering issues for a range of US and foreign governments and industrial clients.   He is currently the President of Asphalt Plus, a company working to expand the cost-efficient use of recycled tire rubber in asphalt.