Scrap Tyres – From Waste Material to Durable Roads

According to Planet Ark (2023), 48 million tyres reach their end-of-life stage with only 16% domestically recycled and approximately two thirds ending up in landfill.

Thankfully, recycled tyres are finding themselves increasingly used in areas such as road construction.

The addition of this patented process of combining polyoctenamer with crumb rubber, or ground tire rubber (GTR) enhances the performance and durability of asphalt concrete pavements.

Tyre Recycling

Vestenenamer®, manufactured by Evonik Industries is a specialty chemical additive for the rubber and construction sector. The process transforms rubber powder from scrap tires to generate asphalt with rubber content. The recycled material is then mixed into road construction bitumen or asphalt to improve the quality of the mixtures and to extend the service life of road surfaces.

Reduction in CO2 emissions 

Recycling scrap tyres makes environmental sense and Energy and Environmental Research in Heidelberg (ifeu) provides further quantifiable aspects to the process. Based on their research, each metric ton of recycled rubber powder saves some 2.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere during the incineration process.

Additionally, Evonik’s process reduces the amount of organic compounds washed out by rain and reduces the overall groundwater burden (FABES Forschungs-GmbH research).

Solving problems of sticky GTR/asphalt compound

Although the use of ground tire rubber (GTR) is known to enhance the durability and performance of asphalt concrete pavements, the sticky GTR/asphalt compound causes problems in processing. However, adding Vestenenamer® pellets can dramatically mitigate these problems.

  • Profile extrusion
  • Roller covers
  • Cable extrusion
  • Hose production
  • Mats
  • Road surfaces
  • Asphalt

Polymer-Modified Asphalt in Road Construction

The use of Vestenenamer® in road construction originated through the process of rubber recycling by mixing mixing small quantities of Vestenenamer® with rubber powder from old tires (GTR), then adding it to bitumen or asphalt for road construction.

Vestenenamer® forms a rubber-like, bituminous binder, that isn’t as sticky as non-reactive rubber powder. The compound is then applied to road surfaces more easily and improves resistance on heavy-load traffic. It also reduces ice formation, the formation of cracks and reduces the thickness of layers needed in preventative maintenance.

  • Makes roads more resilient to heavy traffic loads.
  • Suitable for use with open-pored asphalts (OPA) and stone mastic asphalt (SMA).
  • Reduces ice formation, noise level, embrittlement and cracking.
  • Thinner coats are often sufficient for preventive maintenance.
  • Scrap tires are reused thus an advantage to the environment. 
  • Reduces the sticky GTR/asphalt compound usually encountered in processing.
  • Makes roads more durable.
  • Saves on CO2 emissions.

Source: Vestenenamer® for road construction – Innovation for polymer-modified asphalt.


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