The scope of application of recycled tire rubber continues expanding all around the world, and Spain aims to catch up with the trend. Spain’s province of Granada has come up with the first is Spain innovative railway track system relying on recycled tire rubber. Now, recycled tire rubber will be used in subways to reduce noise produced by train tracks.

The noise reduction is possible thanks to special technology made with a mixture of rubber from old tires and polyurethane resin, which ensures elastic properties of railroad tracks.


Metro tracks built with recycled rubber | Photo by Signus.

The innovation was introduced by the Acciona Infrastructure Group – the company earlier teamed up with researchers and the industry players including SIGNUS – Spanish waste tire management authority – to study how recycled tires could benefit railway systems.

The company explained that its team was searching for methods to reduce noise produced by trains on railroads, adding further that they were also thinking how to benefit the environment, as a massive amount of all types of tires are simply dumped at landfills.

Currently, a 16-kilometres route in subway stretches between four points in Granada – Albolote, Maracena, Granada and Armilla; 13 of them are on the surface and 3 km stretch underground.


Metro tracks built with tire derived crumb rubber rubber | Photo by Neumaticos en Verde.

However, Acciona is expected to complete the remaining part of the track adding three more metro stops. Its track will contain recycled rubber. The innovative solution has already been tested and showed great results outperforming conventional systems in ground vibrations reduction. In addition, it has been found that the new system also enhances comfort of passengers.

The Acciona’s innovation does not require huge investments to carry out proper maintenance and it can be easily installed. In addition, the technology helps transform scrap tires into valuable products greatly reducing amount of waste; to produce one meter of tracks approximately seven scrap tires are needed.

Article by Neumaticos en Verde, Signus.