Australian innovation in rubberised concrete

Concrete road barriers constructed using rubber crumb from end-of-life tyres have proved their safety value in world-first full-scale test

The new product, quite literally part of the circular economy, has been developed by the University of Melbourne’s Advanced Protective Technologies of Engineering Structures (APTES) Research Group and Saferoads with funding from Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA).

The 100 km/hour crash test of the new concrete safety barrier, Rubber T-Lok, was conducted at Victoria’s Lardner Park facility and showed that this new product will decrease the severity of impact.

What’s more it is a viable use of end-of-life tyres that would otherwise go to landfill or stockpiles.

TSA CEO Lina Goodman said the concrete barriers offered enhanced safety benefits and a longer lifespan, making it a cost-effective solution for a range of industries including engineering and construction.

The developers are now calling on regulators to expand infrastructure specifications to include the new product.

“The faster regulators do this, the faster our economy will benefit from commercial opportunities and job growth, particularly in regional, rural and remote areas,” Ms Goodman said.

“[This is] taking us another step closer to meeting the government’s target of an 80% recovery rate from all waste streams by 2030.

Saferoads CEO, Darren Hotchkin, revealed Rubber T-Lok will enable Australia to recover 115 tonnes of used tyres for every 10 kilometres of the new type of concrete safety barrier produced.

Image: TSA

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is the Editor of Concrete in Australia and at the helm of our magazine for 8 years. She was behind the Institute's weekly news bulletins from 2016-2021 and is now writing our focused news items. Desi has been an engineering news and features journalist/editor across all disciplines since 2013 - part of a 30-year career writing for a wide range of industries.