Rubber from end-of-life tires acts like sunscreen for roads and halves the rate of sun damage when mixed with bitumen, new research by RMIT University and Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) has found. RMIT University engineers collaborated with Tyre Stewardship Australia to discover the perfect blend that is both UV-resistant and withstands traffic loads, with the potential to save governments millions on road maintenance annually.


Filippo Giustozzi is a leading road engineer focused on delivering practical and readily implementable research outcomes. | Photo: courtesy of RMIT University.

The new study has been led by Filippo Giustozzi, Associate Professor at RMIT University. The researches says:

“We found that the ageing trend is actually slowed down when you add crumb rubber, which is recycled from scrap tires, into the top layer of a road,” Giustozzi said.

“This acts so effectively as a sunscreen for roads that it actually makes the surface last twice as long as regular bitumen.

“We knew that UV would be a factor in road degradation, but not by what degree or how to protect against it, as nobody has really been looking at this aspect.”

To learn more about the research and its outcomes, please read the full article by the RMIT University.