Engineers from RMIT University have created a sustainable and eco-friendly solution in collaboration with Tyre Stewardship Australia to the used tyre crisis.
Roads are not built with sun protection, making them prone to cracking and wear over time and potentially unsafe for road users to drive on. Australian states pay out billions on road maintenance annually, however, this new development could help to solve the issue.
To create the new ‘road sunscreen’, engineers from RMIT University mixed rubber from used tyres with bitumen. They found that mixing the two together created 50% less UV damage when compared to regular bitumen. However, the engineers also considered the perfect balance for combatting road wear and cracking. This gave the engineers the perfect combination for road wear and UV protection.
“We found adding between 18% and 22% of crumb rubber generates an ideal balance in terms of improving rut and fatigue resistance to traffic loads, while resisting UV ageing.” said Associate Professor Filippo Giustozzi from RMIT University.
Overall, the engineers found that the combination they used managed to halve the rate of sun damage on roads, which could help to save governments millions of dollars on road maintenance annually.