The first major UK trial of a new asphalt made partly from recycled waste tyres has been successfully completed on behalf of Transport Scotland by Breedon Aggregates.
Late last month a short stretch
of the A90 dual carriageway between Perth and Dundee was resurfaced with
the revolutionary material and a recently-completed ‘grip test’ on the
new surface has now confirmed its viability.
This stretch of
road is one of the busiest in Scotland, carrying around 35,000 vehicles a
day. Over the next few months the material will be closely monitored
against a number of key performance criteria, including skid resistance,
and the early indications are very encouraging.
attempts at using rubber in asphalt, which usually involved trying to
melt the rubber completely before mixing it with stone and bitumen,
Breedon Aggregates has secured access to new technology from Danish
company Genan which enables it to incorporate rubber particles directly
into the binding agent. This is achieved at lower temperatures, with
lower levels of emissions, bringing significant environmental benefits.
could transform our approach to road surfacing in the UK,” said Alan
Mackenzie, chief executive of Breedon Aggregates Scotland. “Our industry
has been trying for years to successfully incorporate recycled rubber
into asphalt, without much success. Thanks to this new technology,
which we are partnering with Genan to promote in the UK, we can help
Since 2006, EU rules have banned the disposal of
tyres to landfill, leaving large quantities of shredded rubber to find
alternative uses in various forms of recycling. According to the
European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Association, nearly 480,000
tonnes of used tyres arose in the UK in 2009.
LCA (Life Cycle
Assessment) studies show that for every ton of scrap tyres used for
rubber modification of bitumen and asphalt, 1.1 tons of CO2 emissions
are saved compared with incineration of the tyres (for example, in
“We’re bringing to market an asphalt which is
more economical and environmentally friendly than any comparable product
currently available,” added Mr Mackenzie.
“We’ll be drawing on
a readily-available recycled raw material, reducing the proportion of
expensive stone and bitumen in the mix and cutting the amount of gases
and fumes produced, so it’s an all-round win for us and for our
Transport Scotland (TS) commented: “We are pleased
that industry has identified this opportunity and developed an
alternative surfacing material for use on the trunk road network. This
adopts a sustainable approach in making the best use of resources
available, by re-using an abundant waste material and thereby reducing
the use of oil-based bitumen products. TS will continue to work
collaboratively with the industry under the auspices of the TS Pavement
Forum and we look forward to the continued success of this initial
Following the success of the trial in Scotland, Breedon
Aggregates will now begin to market the new material, to be called
Breedon Polymer R+, from its 18 asphalt plants throughout Scotland and